Back in July, John Hunter Nemechek was just inches away from a Late Model win at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana. This past Sunday, the 17-year-old made sure that he wouldn’t be a part of any such drama.
Nemechek dominated 98 of the 100 laps of Sunday’s Fall Brawl 100 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour late model event at the famed 0.686-mile oval.
“It was a pretty flawless,” Nemechek said of his No. 8 car after the race. “It started to get a little tight there at the end, but we kept our focused and keep on digging through it. My guys put all their work into this car and I can’t thank them enough for it.
“We messed one up the last time we were here for a Super Late Model race and lost to Kyle Busch. We came back with a vengeance and had to at least get one win today.”
Nemechek was the fast qualifier and started sixth after the invert. He didn’t waste any time as he made a bold three-wide move on the inside going into turn one on the opening lap to work his way up to third.
“They kind of bottled up on me on the start and I had a run,” Nemechek said. “Thought I would try to do something.”
He inherited the lead after Tristan Van Wieringen and Kyle Jones were battling for the lead and the two made contact thus making impact with the turn one wall. After a 45-minute red flag to repair the SAFER barrier, Nemechek took over the top spot on the restart on lap 2 and wasn’t challenged all the way to the checkered flag.
That was red flag one for the race. A second long red flag came at lap 65 when Kevin Willis and Trey Craig made contact and Willis hit the back stretch gate. Heavy machinery was brought in and it took the vast majority of an hour to get concrete barriers in front of the gate so it was safe for the drivers to resume racing.
While Nemechek led the way, Grant Quinlan made his way to the front from his eighth starting position to finish second behind Nemechek. Quinlan was looking for his second straight win, but was pleased with his runner-up finish.
“It’s tough to run with a guy like John Hunter, he is fast. Everywhere he goes he is always good. We had been consistent all weekend in practice times, we had some speed but hadn’t been able to put a lot down,” Quinlan said. “We were looking forward to the race, it’s a race car not a qualifier, that’s what the guys always say and that is what I always strive to do.”
Quinlan held off Jeff Cannon for the second spot with Trey Craig finishing fourth and Hunter Baize rounding out the top five.
Dan Leeck, current JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour point leader, came into the event with a 57-point lead. He suffered mechanical problems throughout the event and finished 20th, allowing Quinlan to cut into his point lead.
Going into the season finale at Winchester Speedway, Leeck has a 20-point lead on Quinlan.
The next race for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour will be the Winchester 100 Presented by JEGS on Friday October 10th. This will be the final point’s race for the 2014 season. The Winchester 100 will be the opening race for the 43rd Annual Winchester 400 weekend.
By Mikayla Kugler and Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com. Photo credits: Speed51.com
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Results
1 8N John Hunter Nemechek
2 28 Grant Quinlan
3 33 Jeff Cannon
4 15 Trey Craig
5 13 Hunter Baize
6 128 Jack Smith
7 22 Chad Pendleton
8 4G Kody Evans
9 4 Dalton Armstrong
10 0 Josh Nelms
11 7 Jeff Lane
12 26 Bill Burba
13 97 Jaxson Jacobs
14 4M Joe Morisette, Jr
15 8 Marc Jacobs
16 20B Mike Bursley
17 12Z Kevin Zielezinski
18 71 Corey Deuser
19 56 Nikky Saxon
20 12 Dan Leeck
21 7K Kevin Willis
22 3 Dakota Jackson
23 78 Travis Eddy
24 7C Kyle Crump
25 42 Chad Finley
26 20 Cole Rouse
27 2 Josh Cave
28 21 Kyle Jones
29 81 Tristan Van Wieringen