Memorable Races in the History of SpeedFest

10 races to remember since the start of SpeedFest in 2005.


hero image for Memorable Races in the History of SpeedFest

This weekend marks the 17th running of SpeedFest, which started in 2005 at USA International Speedway. There have been plenty of exciting and memorable races during SpeedFest's tenure, but here are 10 particularly notable ones for the record books.

2005 - The Tradition Begins - Charlie Menard wins the first running of SpeedFest as he beats out Eddie Hoffman and Pat Kelly for the win in Florida at USA International Speedway. Maine driver Mike Rowe was fourth and Jay Middleton was fifth.

2011 - Elliott Sweeps the Competition - By not taking tires at halfway, Chase Elliott shocked the racing world by going the 200-lap distance on one set of tires and sweeping the SpeedFest weekend after he also won the Pro Late Model race as well. Elliott beat Bubba Pollard and defending NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion Daniel Hemric.

2012 - Cordele Gets Rowdy - A last minute change saw the race move south from Lanier to Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA). A large crowd showed up to see NASCAR driver Kyle Busch slip by Bubba Pollard in the final 15 laps to pocket the win. David Ragan was third with Casey Smith and TJ Reaid in the five.


2009 - Pros Join the Party - In the Pro Late Model race, Greg Simpson slips under Russell Fleeman with two laps to go to score the win in the first ever Pro Late Model race at SpeedFest. This race was run at Lanier National Speedway (GA), Simpson’s home track. There were nine lead changes that day among three drivers. Kyle Fowler was second and Fleeman had to settle for third.

2016 - Nemechek Completes the Trifecta - John Hunter Nemechek wins the Pro Late Model race for the third-straight year. After coming from ninth Nemechek took the lead after halfway and held off Chris Dilbeck for the win. Nemechek became the second driver to win the race three times after Chase Elliott did it three years prior.

2020 - Tempers Flare, Heim Breaks Through - Corey Heim had a thrilling two-lap shootout with Kyle Plott with the two finishing inches apart for a big win. This was a bit overshadowed by the dust up between Stephen Nasse and Bubba Pollard traded paint sending Pollard for a spin and both out of the race 10 laps early. Dawson Fletcher finished third and got to see every inch of the expected finish.


2010 - Busch Beats the Cold - The 2010 version was not the most glamorous, but the drivers and track officials did everything they could to get the race to happen after a soaking rain washed the track with snow setting in on Saturday. Kyle Busch won the 250-lap race on a near frozen oval. Busch led 216 laps and beat Steven Wallace and Jeff Fultz for the victory.

2013 - Chase's PLM Hat Trick - Chase Elliott wins three-straight Pro Late Model events in a row at SpeedFest to be the all-time leader at the time. Justin South and Bubba Pollard made up the podium. 16 of the 32 cars finished on the lead lap.

2013 - Choquette Survives for the Win - Jeff Choquette somehow survived one of the wildest SpeedFest Super Late Model races in history. Choquette led three laps in a 200-lap event that was slowed by 25 yellow flags. Choquette came from 15 to win with second-place finisher David Odell coming from 23rd and third-place finisher Scott Heckert coming from 28th.

2016 - Bubba Snaps the SpeedFest Drought - Bubba Pollard finally gets the monkey off his back at SpeedFest after John Hunter Nemechek went for a spin after contact with Pollard in the final laps. The restart saw Pollard pull away for his first SpeedFest SLM win. Harrison Burton was second and Zane Smith came home third.