John Hunter Nemechek Repeats As JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour SpeedFest WinnerCRA_admin
Cordele, Georgia (January 25, 2015) – The fifth season of competition for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance began with the traditional non-points season opener; SpeedFest 2015. The fast 4/10s (0.400) mile semi-banked paved oval of Watermelon Capital Speedway, located south of Macon and north of the Florida / Georgia state line in Cordele, Georgia served as hosts over the weekend of January 24-25th. This was the fourth straight year that the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour joined their counterparts within the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS down south for the traditional kick off to the new year.
17-year-old John Hunter Nemechek, hot off the biggest win of his career in the Snowball Derby, continued the momentum from that win on December 6th, 2014 at Five Flags Speedway (FL) by taking the lead from race leader, 2014 Snowflake 100 winner, Bubba Pollard with 15 laps to go. From there, the Mooresville, North Carolina rising star in his #8 D.A.B. Constructors / NEMCO Motorsports / Chevrolet would go on to score his second straight SpeedFest victory and a $4,000 payday. Nemechek has been perfect in four career appearances with four trips to victory lane in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour events as he has won each time he has taken the green flag.
“I just can’t say enough about this NEMCO Motorsports Team. They gave me a good car for these JEGS/CRA races and every Pro Late Model show we ran all of last year,” The son of NASCAR veteran, Joe Nemechek stated in victory lane after the win. “That was a good race with Bubba (Pollard) and definitely a lot of fun. This is definitely a good way to start the year out. Hopefully we can go into the next race and complete the sweep today.” He added prior to jumping into his ARCA/CRA Super Series Super Late Model.
The day before, Nemechek, who will make several appearances in his father’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team throughout the 2015 racing season, drew the maximum of a 10 for an inversion which placed 15-year-old Derek Scott Jr., and former NASCAR Nationwide (Now Xfinity) Series competitor, Justin Ashburn on the front row for the SpeedFest 125. Ashburn shot out into the lead as Scott Jr., got sideways on the start and Ashburn pulled out to take command early while the rest of the field settled in behind him.
Once the field settled into a rhythm, 14-year-old Harrison Burton made the quick pass of the two drivers in front of him for third and then second and would set his sights on Ashburn. Burton would grab the lead on lap 14 and he brought a hard-charging Nemechek, who started 10th, with him. Ashburn regrouped and got back by Nemechek for second and briefly grabbed the lead back on lap 33 only to lose it to Burton, who was immediately passed by Nemechek on the next circuit. Four laps later, Burton shot back past Nemechek only to see him lose it once again
seven laps later.
Nemechek and Burton would swap the lead two more times before Nemechek took it away for what he hoped was for good on lap 58. Bubba Pollard, who started next to Nemechek in ninth, had been methodically picking off cars while the battle between Nemechek and Burton was happening. Once Nemechek got around Burton for the last time, Pollard would then also pass Burton for second and follow Nemechek around the south Georgia facility. Pollard would briefly take the lead with 15 laps to go only to see Nemechek make what would be the winning pass a lap later. From there, it was all Nemechek who would keep a safe piece of real estate between himself and Pollard to secure the win.
For his efforts, Nemechek would not only get the winner’s purse, trophy and the Luke Yoder Construction Fast Qualifier, Award, the Tar Heel State rising star also received the PitBoxes.com Halfway Leader Award for leading the field at lap 63 of the 125- lap main. He also scored the VDL Fuel Systems Hot Lap of the Race Award and the Allstar Performance First Place Award for his efforts and led on four different occasions totaling a race high 75 laps during the 125-lap race.
Pollard settled for second in his #26 JEGS.com / Chevrolet as the Senoia, Georgia driver did manage to lead a single lap during the race. The 27-year-old, who won the 2014 Southern Super Series Championship as well as the Gulf Coast Series Championship between Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Mobile International Speedway (AL), earned the Allstar Performance Second Place Award. The Snowflake 100 winner as well as the winner at Berlin Raceway (MI) in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour from the 2014 racing season was one of five drivers pulling double-duty during the weekend.
After leading three different times for a total of 35 laps in front of the field, Burton would finish a career high third in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour competition in his #12 Dex Imaging / Chevrolet for his second career top five finish in just his fifth JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour start. The son of NASCAR veteran and now Television Analyst for NASCAR on NBC, Jeff Burton didn’t leave Georgia empty-handed as the Huntersville, North Carolina teenager collected the Racing Electronics Second to None Award. Like the two drivers in front of him, Burton also pulled double-duty during the weekend.
The first driver not running both divisions to finish up front was Hampton, Georgia competitor, Chris Dilbeck who made his JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour debut count with a fourth place showing in his #9 David Ragan Ford / Ford. The 28-year-old fought off a hard-charging Korey Ruble who completed the top five in his #18 Dubz Thermal Products / Ford. The 29-year-old Ruble, from Headland, Alabama, scored his third consecutive top five finish in four career JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour starts, all coming at SpeedFest since the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour was added to the prestigious event in 2012.
Josh Adkins, in only his second career JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour appearance finished sixth ahead of 17-year-old Bret Holmes, who, in his JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour debut, earned the Racecar Engineering Hard-Charger Award as well as the Racing Electronics Most Improved Driver Award with his impressive 26th to seventh place run. 19-year-old Matt Wallace was eighth as Ashburn and 18-year-old Austin Wayne Self, the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards Rookie of the Year, completed the top 10. 18-year-old Quinnton Bear, a CRA Late Model Sportsman Series graduate making his JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour debut walked away with the Racecar Engineering 15th place award while. 19-year-old Jay Coen picked up the Racecar Engineering Hard Wreck Award.
The day before on Saturday, January 24th in Luke Yoder Construction Qualifying, Nemechek would start the weekend by winning the $400 bonus by turning in a 15.900 over the 27-car field which measures out to 90.566mph. Nemechek’s fast time was just 0.061 seconds off of the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour track record at the Cordele, Georgia speed plant which remains a 15.839 which was set back on January 28th, 2012 by Chase Elliott.
The chase for the 2015 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Championship begins with the running of the Cabin Fever 100 Presented by JEGS.com on Saturday-Sunday, May 2-3rd. Springport Motor Speedway, located north of Jackson and south of Lansing in Springport, Michigan will officially begin the points season for the premier template bodied / crate motored series in North America by hosting the 2015 season opener for the second year in a row.
The fast 3/8s (0.375) mile semi-banked paved oval in south Michigan has hosted the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour four times and has produced four different winners. Now 16-year-old Grant Quinlan, the 2014 Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year won in the series’ last appearance on September 19th, 2014 as a 15-year-old while another 15-year-old, J.J. Haley is the defending race winner of the spring Cabin Fever event. Chad Finley and 2012 tour champion, Daniel Hemric also have single victories as well.
For more information about the upcoming 2015 racing season for all four touring series’ within Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS, go to the series website at: www.cra-racing.com You can also follow along with all of CRA’s touring series’ all season long on Facebook at:
www.facebook.com/ChampionRacingAssociation and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CRAracing Finally, for more information about Springport Motor Speedway, the host track for the 2015 season opener for points for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, go to the track website at: www.springportmotorspeedway.com