Harvey SimpsonCordele Dispatch
Cordele — One of the biggest motorsports event to ever hit this section of the state will take place this coming weekend at Watermelon Capital Speedway.
Known as SpeedFest2012, it’s the continuation of races in which many short track late model racers began their long racing careers.
Sanctioned by Champion Racing Association (CRA), the card will feature a doubleheader that will include both pro and super late models.
The JEGS All-Stars tour sponsored by GM Performance Parts will feature the pro late models in the Rheem 150. The ARCA/CRA Super Series, which consists of super late models, will then battle it out 200 laps for the top purse of $7,000 cash.
The popularity of SpeedFest is attributed to the talent and big names the event brings to the table each and every year.
Topping this year’s list of entries is 2010 SpeedFest winner/Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch of Las Vegas and Unadilla native David Ragan who now calls Concord, N.C. home.
Cup drivers aren’t the only ones on the entry list for this year’s event, however. Second generation stars set to participate are Ross Kenseth, son of Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth; Dawsonville resident Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, and John Hunter Nemecheck, son of Sprint Cup driver Joe Nemechek.
Along with the names of Busch, Ragan, Elliott, Kenseth and Nemechek, other notable entries are Jeff Fultz, Clay Rogers and Bubba Pollard.
SpeedFest2012 festivities will unofficially begin on Friday January 27th when an open test session will be available to all participating late model teams. Gates will open at 10 a.m. and practice will be held from 1-5 p.m. The speedway will close an hour later. Pit passes will be $25 that day.
Saturday’s schedule calls for practice and qualifying to set the field for Sunday afternoon’s feature events that get under way at 2 p.m. That’s when competition is on tap for both the Rheem 150 and SpeedFest 200 for Super late models.
Prior to the green flag start, fans will have an opportunity to take part in an autograph session will all participating drivers at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule calls for tech inspections, practice and qualifying for Sunday’s main events. Gates will open at 9 a.m., practice will begin at noon and qualifying will start at 4. Grandstand admission will be free but pit passes will cost $30 each.
On Sunday, pit gates will open at 10 a.m. and passes to enter there will be $35. Grandstands gates will open at 11 a.m. with adult admission set at $20. Students ages 9-18 will be admitted for $10.