Second for Nemechek in Fleeman Memorial Veteran Pollard
100-Lapper a Learning Experience at Gresham for 16-Year-Old
John Hunter Nemechek was in contention for the win throughout the entire Larry Fleeman Memorial Pro Late Model 100 on Saturday night at Gresham Motorsports Park (GA). And although he brought his No. 8 machine home with a respectable second-place to veteran Bubba Pollard after battling for the top spot all night, Nemechek still calls it a learning experience.
Nemechek started from the second spot but held the advantage on the outside and was able to lead the first 13 laps of the event over Pollard after using the high line to his favor on the initial start.
“We started off pretty good,” said Nemechek. “We got the jump on Bubba and took the lead there for a little bit. I wasn’t going to push my stuff and risk burning it up so I let him go and just pretty much rode behind him but I don’t think that was the right move.”
After an extended red-flag at lap 46, both Pollard and Nemechek reported handling issues in their machines.
“I should have stayed out front,” said Nemechek. “Because there at the end after the red flag, both of us got tight and it was going to be whoever was out front that won the race because it's so hard to pass in a (Pro Late Model) here. The speeds are so high and you don’t have that horsepower to get around people. So it was definitely a learning experience for what we need to do next time, but it was a great race and we put on a great show for the fans.”
The Jefferson, Georgia crowd got their money’s worth after a lap 89 restart put Nemechek right back on Pollard’s bumper for the final 10 laps of the event.
“The last couple laps I was driving my butt off trying to get to him,” said Nemechek. “But I couldn’t quite get underneath him and get a run up off the corner. I could have wrecked him at any point but I didn’t want to run dirty. I’ve always run people how I want to be run and if I’m in that position I don’t want to get wrecked at the end.”
Nemechek will have another shot at Pollard this weekend at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) in the Southern Super Series Rumble by the River 125 on Saturday, May 10.
“Montgomery is a fun place,” said Nemechek. “We’ve always been good there but we haven’t had the luck to finish. I look forward to going back there and having luck to finish it and I really hope that we can do well.”
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