CORDELE, GA :: This weekend, John Hunter Nemechek is going back to Watermelon Capital Speedway to finish the job.

Nemechek won his first career Late Model race last January at CRA Speedfest in the 125-lap Pro Late Model portion of the event. It was the beginning of a breakout year that also included victories in the All-American 400 and Snowball Derby.

The 17-year-old second-generation prospect felt like he had a shot at a sweeping the 2014 event and feels like the 2015 running will be no different.

“We’ve run well and have been competitive every time I’ve been to Watermelon Captital Speedway,” Nemechek said. “I won the JEGS Pro event there last year and we had a very good car for the Super Late Model race.

“In fact, we’ve run up front all three times we’ve come here in the Super Late Model, but there has always been something that has happened at the end or right in the middle of the race.”

Nemechek made his Speedfest debut back in 2012 and led at the halfway break before sliding to 11th when the checkered flag dropped. One year later, he was leading with four laps to go but ran out of fuel due to the an hour’s worth of yellow flags over the final 10 laps. He eventually finished 14th — the last car on the lead lap.

In 2014, he was still feeling the euphoria of his Pro Late Model triumph when a mechanical failure ended his run after 32 laps.

In short, Nemechek is due … and he knows it.

“SpeedFest is definitely a race that I look forward to and one that I have circled on my calandar every year,” he said. “It is one of my favorite tracks. “Watermelon Capital Speedway is a driver’s track — both ends are different and you have to know how to get around the place.
“I feel that we are going to have some good cars when we go down there.

READ MORE –> 2015 CRA Speedfest Entry List

For the first time in his career, Nemechek will have a teammate as he will be joined by Canadian female driver Dominique Van Wieringen, a signing that team owner Joe Nemechek is especially excited about.

“We like Dominique a lot,” the elder Nemechek said of the former JEGS Tour race winner. “We’ve seen what she could do in a Pro Late Model and we’re excited to have her join the team.”

Meanwhile, the younger Nemechek is still feeling the confidence of his Snowball Derby championship. He says he is going to take the same approach and car to Watermelon Capital that won him the biggest race of his career in Pensacola last month.

“You cannot take things for granted,” he said. “We are going to go down there like it is a brand new race. Go down there and try to win. You always have to look ahead, and the celebration is over.

“Now it’s time to focus.”

CRA SpeedFest is a 200-lap Super Late Model race which is preceded by a 125-lap Pro Late Model race. Both events do not count towards the CRA and JEGS Tour championship respectively.

Chase Elliott and Nemechek are the defending winners of the event. Speed51 will air the event as part of its 51TV digital streaming PPV service.

Goodson Racing Set to debut New Driver

The entry list for Speedfest currently has “TBA” listed as their driver for the annual CRA season opener in Cordele, Georgia but the team remains tight-lipped on the identity of Driver X.

Team communications representative Madison Goodson says they have a driver lined up but do not plan to announce it until they arrive at Watermelon Capital Speedway.

“(You will probably find out) when the rig pulls up and he comes out,” she said.

Goodson added that her dad, team owner Tracy Goodson, will look to rent out his car several times in 2015 if the right fit presents itself.

“Most likely this is just for Cordele and a couple other races,” Goodson said. “Mostly, we’ll be renting the car to any good drivers looking for a car to rent.

“Dad had more things in mind though.”

Mike Garvey has been the primary driver of the No. 1 Late Model over the past several seasons, winning races throughout the Southeast. The 52-year-old has considered running the ARCA racing series, returning to a driver consulting role and retiring outright over the past several years.