The first race of the 2023 season is upon drivers and teams as they prepare for SpeedFest 2023 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia. The event, which includes five different divisions of racing, is highlighted by the 150-lap Super Late Model race, and the 100-lap JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Model race. It’s also the first race under the new branding for the ASA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS and the ASA Southern Super Series Presented by Sunoco Race Fuels.
Twenty-Five Super Late Models are now entered with 23 cars appearing on the Pro Late Model entry list. Notable entries include former NASCAR Cup Series star, David Ragan and current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series stars Corey Heim, Carson Hocevar, and Jake Garcia. Defending SpeedFest winners Bubba Pollard and Michael Hinde are both entered along with All American 400 Champions Stephen Nasse, Matt Craig, and Casey Roderick.
Super Late Model – Entry List | Pro Late Model – Entry List
The weekend begins on Thursday for teams who wish to take part in an open practice at the speedway. All five divisions will practice on a rotation from Noon to 5:00. Weekend credentials will be available when the gates open at 9:00 AM Thursday morning.
Friday consists of three rounds of event practice beginning at 11:30 AM. Outlaw Late Models will kick off qualifying at 4:15, followed by final practice/qualifying for the INEX Legends Cars and Bandoleros. Late Models take the stage at 5:15 with single car qualifying for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour as they look to grab the Luke Yoder Construction Fast Qualifier Award. The ASA/CRA Super Series and ASA Southern Super Series qualifying is the final event of the afternoon with the Earnest Performance Fast Qualifier Award on the line.
Saturday, fans begin their experience with an autograph session on the front-stretch of the speedway at 11:30 AM. Driver introductions begin an hour later with the first green flag of the day in the air at 1:00 PM. Bandolero and Legends Car features are first followed by the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. The Southern Outlaw Late Models will then run a 50-lap feature race. The highly anticipated Super Late Model SpeedFest 150 caps off the weekend at the end of the afternoon.
SpeedFest – Schedule of Events | Ticket Information
SpeedFest 2023 will be the 17th running of the traditional non-points pre-season event, dating back to its inaugural race at USA International Speedway in 2005. After three events at USA International, the race was contested three times at Lanier National Speedway. 2023 marks the tenth event to be held at Crisp Motorsports Park, home of the Watermelon Capital Speedway, in Cordele, Georgia.
Over the event’s history, 11 different drivers have gone to Victory Lane, including NASCAR stars Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott (3 times), Jeff Choquette and Bubba Pollard (twice), and other superstars like Harrison Burton, Chandler Smith, and Corey Heim.
Advanced tickets are available now at www.TrackEnterprises.com or by calling (217) 764-3200. Fans who can’t attend the race in person can also find live coverage of the event on RacingAmerica.TV. For more on SpeedFest 2023 and CRA, log onto www.CRA-Racing.com, or find and follow CRA on Facebook.
Story – Zach Hiser
Photo – Rich Corbett
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