The Herald Bulletin

January 26, 2014

Teens sweep SpeedFest

By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin

---- — CORDELE, Ga. – Two drivers with last names familiar to stock car fans combined to make it a sweep of the Zaxsby’s SpeedFest by teenage drivers on Sunday.

Chase Elliott battled with fast-qualifier Johnny Sauter for most of the second half of the 200-lap Super Late Model feature.

The decisive action took place on Lap 186 with Elliott racing on the inside and Sauter on the outside. The two bumped in Turn 4, causing Sauter to spin.

From there, Elliott went on to record his second SpeedFest victory. Second went to Daniel Hemric with Austin Theriault, David Ragan and Jeff Cannon rounding out the top five.

There were 16 caution periods for a total of 59 laps.

Elliott will be competing full time in the Nationwide Series starting next month.

John Hunter Nemechek recorded his first CRA JEGS All-Stars Tour surviving five attempts at a green-white-checker finish in the Chevrolet Performance 125 on Sunday at Watermelon Capital Speedway.

Nemechek took the lead from Hunter Robbins on Lap 29 with an outside pass on a restart on the back straight. From there, Nemechek maintained the lead turning back challenges from Justin South, Garrett Jones, Hunter Robbins and Spencer Davis.

The top 10 got shuffled significantly over the final laps as the field was unable to complete two laps without the caution flag waving.

The first 100 laps saw the caution flag wave eight times for 51 laps, but over the final 25 circuits it waved seven more times.

It was a good day for teenage drivers as Nemechek, 16, was followed to the checkers by 15-year-old Davis, Koby Rule, Indiana teenager J.J. Haley and Dwayne Buggay to round out the top five.

“I didn’t think that race was ever going to end,” Nemechek said. “How many times did we restart?”

Cannon, the Kouts veteran set fast time and started 10th in the final following the inversion. He advanced from 10th to third with two laps remaining when he tangled with Robbins while battling for second.

Cannon was sent to the tail of the field by CRA officials after making contact with Robbins. Robbins came down on the Indiana driver’s car entering Turn 1, causing the incident.

Cannon was credited with an eighth-place finish.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.