Speedfest 2013 Opens Racing Season

Seen as a racing dress rehearsal, drivers from across the nation descended upon Cordele this weekend for Speedfest 2013.

A range from NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan to some of the young hopefuls such as John Hunter Nemechek opened their seasons at the Watermelon Capital Speedway.

No matter the level of competition, the drivers used the short track to work out the kinks and get familiar behind the wheel. For the Unadilla-native, Ragan, that's in preparation of next month's Daytona 500.

Up and coming driver on the K & N Pro Series East, Chase Elliot, opened the day with high expectations. Elliot met the challenge taking the checkered flag in Sunday's first race, the Jegs/CRA Premier Building 100.

As for the Speedfest 200, it was a race of attrition.

After 40 cautions, Ragan, Elliot and Nemecheck found themselves at the lead with only laps remaining, but even the front runners couldn't avoid damage. A wreck between Ragan and Elliot pushed the two cars in to the bottom half of the top 10 and Nemechek ran out of gas.

Florida-native Jeff Choquette ends up with the Speedfest 200 victory after nearly four hours of racing.