There’s been one constant in the SpeedFest Pro Late Model 125 each of the last two years, and that’s Chris Dilbeck running up front and contending for the win. Dilbeck finished third in the 2014 edition of the race and second in 2015. At the end of this month Dilbeck is heading back to his home track of Watermelon Capital Speedway at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) to seek not just one victory, but this year he’s seeking two SpeedFest wins.
Dilbeck will pilot his own race car in the Pro Late Model 125 and will drive for Jamie Yelton’s Fathead Racing in a Super Late Model for the CRA SpeedFest 200 on January 29.
“They’re actually going down there for the Pro race with Joe Graf Jr.,” said Dilbeck. “He’s a Modified racer from the Northeast. They’re taking him down to run the Pro car so we’re going to test a little bit and work with him and get him acclimated.”
Dilbeck has run the last two Pro Late Model events at SpeedFest after purchasing a Pro Late Model at the end of 2013. At the time, Dilbeck was dominating the Outlaw Late Model ranks at Crisp Motorsports park, winning 14 out of 20 races in a two-year period, according to Dilbeck.
Since buying that car Dilbeck has finished third and second in the Pro Late Model portion of SpeedFest. He said the time is right for him to do one spot better again this year and score the win, especially now that the car has gone through some major updates.
“We have actually completely rebuilt our car,” Dilbeck explained. “Instead of a 2007 chassis it’s more like a hybrid 2016 or 2017. We’ve updated a lot of the car. It’s a lot nicer now. So now it’s just up to the driver to hold up his end of the bargain.”
Dilbeck certainly has some positive momentum on his side heading into this year’s SpeedFest as well. He picked up his first Super Late Model victory of his career at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway last season and a victory in a Pro Late Model race at Crisp Motorsports Park near the end of the year.
“That helps a lot,” Dilbeck said. “We’re trying to ride that momentum through and have a good shot at winning both races.”
The 30-year-old Dilbeck grew up a little more than one hour away from Cordele, Georgia, the home of Crisp Motorsports Park. Winning either race at SpeedFest would mean a ton to Dilbeck no matter which race it is, but one race in particular would mean everything.
“To be able to win at my home track of Cordele with a lot of friends and sponsors close by would be awesome,” he said. “To be able to win at SpeedFest in either race would be a big deal. But in that Pro race we’ve had two pretty good shots at it and have come up a little short. As far as the pride goes, I think that Pro race is at the top of the list because it’s our third shot at it. Winning the Super race would be a bonus. Winning the Pro race is our main goal.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com