History is a big part of racing, and the history of short track racing runs deep. At certain points during the year, Speed51 will use our new “Throwback Thursday” segment to look back on some of the biggest stories from years past. During each edition of Throwback Thursday, we will revisit stories previously published on Speed51.
Our focus this week, of course, is CRA SpeedFest. With the 17th edition of the event taking place this weekend at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA), we’ll throw it back to some of the biggest stories that have occurred at the event.
Since SpeedFest has never been held on this date, January 23, our Throwback dates for this Thursday will reflect January 25, which is the race day for SpeedFest 2020. This will be only the third time the race has been held on this date.
January 25 is the earliest SpeedFest has ever been run in the month of January.
In 2009, CRA SpeedFest was held for the first time at Lanier Raceplex in Georgia after the move from USA International Speedway (FL). Kyle Busch dominated the second half of the race and beat out Georgia driver Jason Hogan for the win. Johanna Long was third. Greg Simpson won a wild Pro Late Model race on the same day as well.
Read more about that day by visiting the Speed51 archives: http://www.speed51archives.com/2009_Stories/Speedfest/Post_SpeedFest_1_26.html
A few years later, on January 25, 2015 SpeedFest made another move, this time to Watermelon Capital Speedway where Chase Elliott was victorious after Bubba Pollard and John Hunter Nemecheck tangled for the lead late. Nemechek was going for the sweep after he won the Pro Late Model race earlier in the day. Chasing Elliott across the line was Kyle Grissom and David Ragan.
Read more about that day by visiting the Speed51 archives: https://speed51.com/nemechek-pollard-tangle-elliott-wins-speedfest/
While SpeedFest has never been held on January 23, there have been a handful of memorable events that have taken place on this date.
1972 – Richard Petty won what we know as the first race of the modern era of NASCAR in 1972 at Riverside Speedway (CA). Stump your friends with this question: was the first race held on a superspeedway or a short track? Both are wrong, as Riverside Speedway was a road course. Bobby Allison was second and Bobby Isaac was third.
1999 – Danny Peoples won the Ice Bowl at the Talladega Short Track in 1999.
2008 – Jimmy Owens won the Super Bowl of Racing feature at Golden Isle Speedway over Shane Clanton. Owens won three times in the series before getting the title with seven top 10 finishes.
2016 – Cole Anderson won the Orange Blossom 100 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). He got around Stephen Nasse late in the race for the win.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor – Speed51 Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51