In his first super late model appearance since June of last year, Roderick paced two-lap time trials for the event, which will be co-sanctioned by the ASA Southern Super Series and ASA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS. His lap of 15.696 seconds equated to an average speed of 86.009 mph around the three-eighths-mile paved oval billed as Watermelon Capital Speedway.
For earning his sixth career Southern Super Series Pole Award, presented by Progressive Race Engines, Robbie White Engines, McGunegill Engine Performance and PME Engines, Roderick netted a $500 bonus.
However, the three-time Five Flags Speedway Blizzard Series super late model champion will start eighth in Saturday’s feature following the redraw, as he seeks the $10,000 top prize over a star-studded roster.
Another longtime super late model ace, Georgia’s Bubba Pollard, went second-quickest in qualifying at 15.725 seconds (85.851 mph). Pollard redrew the fifth starting spot for the SpeedFest finale.
Young guns Jett Noland and Dawson Sutton qualified third and fourth, respectively, in the 28-car field.
Sutton drew the No. 1 pill and will start from the pole alongside Jake Finch in his quest for a maiden SpeedFest victory.
While SpeedFest will not award points for the ASA/CRA Super Series, it will be a points race for the ASA Southern Super Series for the first time.
The race’s January date also drew several NASCAR names to the field, including soon-to-be NASCAR Cup Series rookie Josh Berry – who will drive Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 Ford Mustang this year – as well as NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Derek Kraus and NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran Brandon Jones.
Trackhouse Racing NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain, who helped collaborate with SpeedFest and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety on the Protect Your Melon race branding, will race in the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour pro late model portion of the event and qualified fifth Friday.
Hudson Bulger was fastest in pro late model qualifying at 15.965 seconds (84.560 mph), while Augie Grill and Josh Hicks will start from the front row in that contest after the redraw.
Eighteen-year-old Grant Thompson, driving for Curt Britt in SpeedFest’s pro late model festivities, both qualified and redrew the seventh position for the JEGS All-Star Tour event.
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