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Unpacking SpeedFest: News & Notes

After Each Race this season we are going to spend time unpacking the additional information that comes after the checkered flag drops.  Here is the rundown for the 2024 season. 

  • The SpeedFest victory for Bubba Pollard was his 35th career win in the ASA Southern Super Series. Pollard is the only driver who has won a race in all 12 seasons of the series. Bubba Pollard now has five wins at Watermelon Capital Speedway.

  • The ASA Southern Super Series will look to continue the streak of 13 different pole winners when the series heads to New Smyrna Speedway. Dating back to 2022 there has not been a repeat pole winner in that stretch. Casey Roderick won his sixth engine Builders Fast Time award, but it was his first since 2019. 

  • Before Stephen Nasse finished second in the ASA Southern Super Series event, he won the JEGS/CRA All-Stars race. This marks the second time that Nasse has won the Pro Late Model portion of SpeedFest. The second-place run was also his second podium finish in the Super Late Model portion of SpeedFest.  

  • One year ago the ASA Southern Super Series averaged just over 30 cars per race and 2024 is off to a good start. 29 cars were on the grounds at SpeedFest and a large number of drivers are expected to be at New Smyrna next month and Five Flags in March. 

  • After setting fast time, Casey Roderick moved into a tie for second for the most fast-time awards in series history. Roderick challenged for the win but finished third. With the finish, he extended his streak of 11 straight seasons with at least one top-five finish. 

  • We saw some of the Super Late Model rookies have impressive runs. Dawson Sutton started on the pole and finished fourth in his first Southern Super Series race. Behind that, Timothy Watson was seeking another top-five run at SpeedFest like he had in 2023. Watson has only run a handful of races making him eligible for the VDL Fuel Systems  Rookie of the Year award this season. 

  • After leading 19 laps in the early going, Jett Noland made us all aware he will be around to contend for some good finishes this season. Noland won the Bigley Memorial last November and he will be looking forward to the next race at New Smyrna. 

  • The top two men in the points from 2023 had solid runs but left Cordele looking for more. 2023 ASA Southern Super Series Rookie of the Year and champion Giovanni Ruggiero started 10th and finished fifth. Matt Craig started sixth and had several pit stops early on to adjust on the car, he recovered  for a ninth-place finish. Both should be stronger at New Smyrna. 

  • Michael Hinde had eight top-10 finishes in 2022 and finished his rookie season sixth in the final Southern Super Series points. He’s already logged a top 10 out of the gates at SpeedFest as he chases down that first win. Hinde was sixth in the Southern Super Series race and eighth in the JEGS race.  

  • There were 15 cars on the lead lap at the end of the day in the SpeedFest 150 after only five yellow flags. This shows how competitive the race was inside the top 20. That’s the most since 2019 when there were 17 on the lead lap. That day they counted caution flag laps. 

  • The next race on the schedule will be one of the longest races of the year with 200 laps on the half-mile track at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). The Clyde Hart Memorial has been won by William Byron for the past two years.

(Photo by Liberty Racing Review)

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