As we continue to dive deeper into the 2016 racing season, the action continues to heat up at race tracks throughout North America. This weekend featured a number of big short track events including SpeedFest 2016, the Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City (NJ) and the beginning of Florida in February for dirt racing fans.
We at Speed51.com understand that it’s tough to keep up with all of the action, that’s why we’ve put together this weekend rewind to get you caught up with all of the racing action and big stories from a busy weekend.
For a full list of winners, as well as the entire 2016 short track racing schedule, visit the PFC Brakes racing calendar on Speed51.com.
Nemechek Spins, Pollard Wins Wild One at SpeedFest – There were plenty of contenders throughout the 200-lap CRA SpeedFest event on Sunday afternoon at the Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia, but at the end of a knock-down, drag-out race it was Bubba Pollard who stood tallest.
Three-Wide Leads to SpeedFest PLM Three-Peat for Nemechek – It took a three-wide move against one of the budding stars of Late Model racing and one of the track’s most decorated racers, but John Hunter Nemechek emerged with a third-straight SpeedFest JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Model victory Sunday afternoon.
Multiple Hands Fall Sesley’s Way in Atlantic City Poker Battle – Anthony Sesely is not a stranger to bringing his Hyper chassis into the mix with the recent Lafler TQ Midget indoor racing dominance inside the Boardwalk Hall. Despite accomplishing a flag-to-flag record third Gambler’s Classic win in the 2016 running, what will set this one apart from the Mattawan, New Jersey driver’s 2013 and 2014 victories was the steadily increasing cast of talent he was required to fend off.
Speed Central Debuts on Speed51.com – A new brand of coverage made its debut on Speed51.com powered by JEGS over the weekend. Speed Central, a modified version of 51’s popular Trackside Now coverage, was used all weekend long during the Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City, as well as on Sunday during SpeedFest 2016 with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and ARCA/CRA Super Series.
Crouse Runs Low Side to Modified Victory Lane at East Bay – Round number three of the Sunshine State Modified Tour, presented by Dirt Nation and Hoosier Racing Tire, had 43 Modifieds signed in to battle at East Bay Raceway Park for the Sunday night showdown. Roger Crouse put his Beak Built Chassis in victory lane with a dominating performance in the 30 lap A-main.
Coyote Catches the Road Runner for NeSmith Win – Dennis “Rambo” Franklin of Gaffney, SC is like the Coyote in the Road Runner cartoon when it comes to the Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race. He has tried for ten years to win the race, and has come so close only to have an anvil fall out of the sky to crush his chances. That all changed on Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park.
Rambo conquered the World. Franklin drove the M&W Transportation Special to victory in the biggest race of the year for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, the 11th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race. Franklin, as the Coyote, captured the Road Runner in the form of Kyle Bronson of Brandon, FL.
Hodges Survives Clauson’s Sliders to Win in the Desert – After sliding past front row starter Stevie Sussex for the lead on the second round, Tijeras, NM, shoe Josh Hodges countered several strong Bryan Clauson sliders to take Saturday night’s $4,000 USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature winner’s share.
“Kid Rocket” Blasts to the Front at Bubba Raceway Park – Josh Richards of Shinnston, WV drove the Sallack Well Service Rocket to his first career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win on Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park in Round 2 of the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout. Richards picked up the $2,500 win in the 40-lap main event after a hard fought battle with Kyle Bronson of Brandon, FL.
Van Gendren Goes From B-Main to Victory Lane at East Bay – Mike Van Gendren took a trip to East Bay Raceway Park victory lane the unconventional way on Saturday night. Van Gendren won the B-Main feature to qualify into the A-Main and charged from the 22nd starting spot to win the A-Main Sunshine State Modified Tour feature.
Smith Surprises Everyone But Himself with SpeedFest Pole – The second day of SpeedFest 2016 at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia was full of surprises for everyone except Super Late Model fast-qualifier Zane Smith. Smith said that he knew he would be fast and knew he’d have a car that could take the pole for Sunday’s 200-lap Super Late Model event. And that was exactly what Smith did.
New KBM Late Model Crew Chief Makes Debut at SpeedFest – Kyle Busch Motorsports arrived in Cordele, Georgia on Friday morning with two race cars and a new crew chief. Steve Strasburg, a native of Wisconsin, has taken over the reigns of the KBM Super Late Model program, taking over for Bond Suss who formerly held the position. Highlights of Saturday’s qualifying action can be seen now on the Speed51 Network by clicking here.
Major Gambles Featured Friday at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall – A wide spectrum of indoor racing luck was showcased Friday night inside Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Boardwalk Hall. Much of it was attributed to a new points system that made the difference between who would be all set for Saturday night’s Gambler’s Classic feature for the TQ Midgets and who would have to search for better fortune.
Gilliland Added to Kyle Busch Motorsports Late Model Roster – Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that its Super Late Model team is scheduled to compete in over 20 different events around the country during the 2016 season. Fifteen-year-old third-generation driver Todd Gilliland has been added to the team’s Super Late Model driver lineup and will split the schedule with KBM NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Christopher Bell and William Byron, with each driver competing in at least five races.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com