Bragging rights are not only on the line for drivers, but also for the staff during this year’s running of SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA).  Fourteen staff members throughout the United States have made their picks for both Late Model races that will be held on Sunday, January 31 and today we are releasing the picks for the 125-lap JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour (Pro Late Model) race.


Check out the picks below and be sure to watch the race live on Speed51 TV to see which, if any, of the staff members will have bragging rights when the checkered flag waves.  Keep in mind, there’s nothing like being at the track and because of that the live pay-per-view broadcast will be blacked out for those within a 200-mile radius of the Cordele, Georgia race track.


Without further ado, here are the picks:


Aaron Bearden – Midwest Correspondent

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

Looking at the field for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event, John Hunter Nemechek has the best résumé, and therefore seems like a safe pick.


Aaron Creed – NY & PA State Editor

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

He finally mastered the Snowflake 100 in December, and now he will repeat his 2015 SpeedFest triumph with another Pro Late Model victory.


Allick Jorgensen – Deep South Correspondent

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

There’s no faster man in a Pro Late Model right now and his track record shows he can win in Cordele.


Bob and Angie Dillner – Owners

Pick: Chris Dilbeck

It’s our sleeper pick.  Don’t be surprised if he pulls it off.  He’s a champion racer at the track; it’s his home track and he finished fourth last year.  If he wasn’t helping drivers go quicker with PFC Brakes, Dilbeck would be a tough competitor week-in and week-out in the Late Model ranks.


Brandon Paul – Editor

Pick: Zane Smith

Smith’s runner-up performance at the Snowball Derby coupled with a Speedweeks Super Late Model championship certainly turned heads last year, and with an additional year of experience I expect him to shine in 2016.  Don’t be surprised if he starts his season by pulling the No. 77 Crooks Racing Pro Late Model into victory lane at SpeedFest.


Bruce Nuttleman – Photographer

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

It’s simple. He is behind the wheel of a proven car, and he’s a proven driver in Late Model competition.


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Connor Sullivan – CT, Long Island, MA Editor

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

Nemechek has risen to the top of drivers to beat in Pro Late Model competition. Coupled with his rising talent includes his NEMCO Motorsports ride, a car which he dominated with at the Snowflake 100 in December, which should continue to give him the edge he has enjoyed over his competitors.


Elgin Traylor – Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Justin South

An outside gun who has won some big races and he’s due for one in the spotlight. South is a true Pro Late Model driver and was on the pole for the Snowflake last December.


Jana Wimmer – Midwest Editor

Pick: Zane Smith

Pulling double duty will help him get track time and he will use it to his benefit in the Pro Late Model race.  This could be a breakout season for Smith and he will win some of the big races.  It will all start at Speedfest with a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win.


Mark Keeler – Deep South Editor

Pick: Casey Roderick

It’s no secret that Ronnie Sanders prepared machines can contend on any size stage.  This matchup with Roderick intrigues me with a veteran owner and veteran driver. He is coming off of one of his most successful, consistent, Super Late Model seasons with the Blizzard Series championship and successful runs in the Southern Super Series.  Although we are talking about Pro Lates and not Supers, if they can get the car dialed in early in the weekend, I think this might be the right combination to pull off what some may consider an upset win.


Matt Kentfield – Executive Director

Pick: Bret Holmes

He’s been knocking on the door of a signature win and I think he shocks the world with an upset win in this event.


Patrick Hahe – IN, MI, OH State Editor

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

Hard to pick against the hot hand.  Should see him contending in both races, but will give him the nod here.


Rob Blount – Southeast Editor

Pick: John Hunter Nemechek

Over the course of the last two years Nemechek has been the hottest Pro Late Model driver in the country, picking up wins in almost every big PLM race he entered. He’ll do it again in this one.


Shari Garber – ID & WA State Editor

Pick: Zane Smith

John Hunter seems like the easy pick,  but I’ll go with Zane Smith.  Being from the West Coast myself, I’ve got to pick the California native.


Order your live SpeedFest 2016 video ticket today for $27.99 by clicking here. Staff Picks for SpeedFest Pro Late Model Race