Watermelon Capital Preparing for First Major SLM Race of 2020

The first major Super Late Model race of 2020 is set for next weekend, January 24 and 25 at Crisp Motorsports Park with CRA SpeedFest for both the Super and Pro Late Models. Many established stars have graced victory lane in the 15 previous versions of the event, while serving as a platform for young stars to earn their first big Super Late Model wins in recent years.


Track promoter Ben Sumner joined Speed51.com’s The Bullring on Monday morning to talk about the Southeast crown jewel. Last year’s SpeedFest saw a large contingent of racers make the trek to South Georgia across all divisions, and he expects more of the same with the addition of local divisions for Friday night’s card.


“We’ve really worked hard at promoting the event each year. It has grown and I think last year we had 139 total race teams for the divisions that were competing,” Sumner said. “This year, I think we’re looking at 150 to 160 race teams and we’re going to incorporate a couple of our local divisions on our preliminary night on Friday for the first time. Those drivers have the opportunity to compete at that event. It’s become a crown jewel in the asphalt racing world in South Georgia.”


SpeedFest began in 2005 at the now-defunct USA International Speedway in Florida. The race would be moved to Lanier National Speedway in 2009 and would stay there for three years before it was moved once again in 2012 to Crisp Motorsports Park. After a highly successful debut at the track that year, SpeedFest has remained in the “Watermelon Capital of the World” ever since.


It’s a race that track officials prepare even before the offseason begins at the 3/8-mile facility.


“It’s nonstop, this is something that we start in the first of August, getting geared up for the event. As our regular season ends in the first of October, we get into not just the racetrack, but the facility itself,” he said. “Painting, upgrading, making improvements and things like that to the facility, there’s just a lot that goes into it. Just preparing everything from parking to camping, the grounds, the landscaping, just all that. There’s a lot that goes into it, several months of work for the two-day event that we have there.”


Sumner and Crisp Motorsports Park officials are excited for CRA SpeedFest next weekend to kick off the racing season at the track. He considers the event vital for the track over the course of the season with the exposure that’s placed on the event.


“It’s huge for us to kick off our season with SpeedFest. We have a great relationship with Glenn (Luckett) and RJ (Scott) and everybody with CRA. It’s just a good way to start the season off,” he said. “It’s always a great event, great racing, and with Speed51 coming on board, the exposure y’all give us with promoting and marketing that event as well, a lot of people have to opportunity to see and learn about our facility just based off that event.”


Stay tuned to Speed51.com regarding broadcast details for CRA SpeedFest 2020.


-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com

Watermelon Capital Preparing for First Major SLM Race of 2020