Nemechek Scores First PLM Victory At SpeedFest

John Hunter Nemechek (left), track promoter Marvin Ragan (center) and Joe Nemechek (right) are all smiles after John Hunter scored his first career Late Model victory Sunday afternoon at Watermelon Capital Speedway.  Photo by Terry Spackman

John Hunter Nemechek (left), track promoter Marvin Ragan (center) and Joe Nemechek (right) are all smiles after John Hunter scored his first career Late Model victory Sunday afternoon at Watermelon Capital Speedway. Photo by Terry Spackman

There’s nothing like your first win. Just ask John Hunter Nemechek.

Nemechek, the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup racer Joe Nemechek, powered to the lead on lap 29 of the 125 Pro Late Model portion of Sunday’s Zaxby’s SpeedFest 2014 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA, and went on to score his first career Late Model victory in only his second ever start in a Pro Late Model race.

The 16 year old wheel man was happy to finally break into victory lane in a Late Model.

“That was pretty special,” said Nemecheck. “We’ve been trying to get that off of our backs for a while now, and we finally have. It’s awesome to be able to do it.”

Nemechek rolled off from the seventh place starting position, and moved his way up meticulously through the field while Hunter Robbins and Dwayne Buggay battled for the lead around the 3/8 mile track. Alabama’s Justin South would soon join the battle for the lead, making his way to second.

Meanwhile, Nemechek moved into the top three, and began challenging South for second. After battling side-by-side for several laps, Nemechek took the spot, and set his sights on the leader.

Nemechek would move past Robbins to take the top spot on a lap 29 restart, and would continue to hold the lead for the rest of the event.

But it didn’t come easy. Nemechek had to sweat out six Green-White-Checkered restarts with two laps remaining.

He would see his biggest challenges fall by the wayside with a multi-car crash on the front stretch that was triggered when Garrett Jones was hooked by another car while racing in the top five, setting off a multi-car crash that took out Jones and gathered up several others cars, including Anderson Bowen and Cole Rouse, along with Christopher Tullis. Everyone walked away.

Robbins was looking to contend for the win on the next restart, only to see his hopes go away as he spun off of the front bumper of Jeff Cannon in turn one. Both were able to continue.

But finally, Nemechek got through the final restart, and powered away to score the win.

Dawsonville, GA’s Spencer Davis, who survived to trips outside the race track, which does not have an outside retaining wall from the middle of turn one to turn four, came home in second. Korey Ruble finished in third, with J.J. Haley in fourth and Buggay in fifth.

Harrison Burton, Robbins, Cannon, Terry Senneker, Jr. and Tullis rounded out the top ten.

All results are unofficial until certified by race officials.

JEGS CRA All-Stars Tour
Watermelon Capital Speedway – Cordele, GA
Chevrolet Performance 125 (Unofficial Results) – Jan. 26, 2014

1. John Hunter Nemechek
2. Spencer Davis
3. Korey Ruble
4. J.J. Haley
5. Dwayne Buggay
6. Harrison Burton
7. Hunter Robbins
8. Jeff Cannon
9. Terry Senneker, Jr .
10. Christopher Tullis
11. Cole Rouse
12. Garrett Jones
13. Anderson Bowen
14. Justin South
15. Davey Coble
16. Mark Day
17. Bubba Pollard
18. Justin Ashburn
19. Amber Slagle
20. Zachary Dabbs
21. Dalton Grindle
22. T.W. Fisher
23. Kody Evans
24. Matthew Wragg
25. Kyle McCallum
26. David Hodges
27. Waylon Jenkins
28. Jordan McCallum
29. Payton Ryan
30. Brandon Brilliant
31. Josh Adkins

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