Venturini Motorsports Sweeps Top-Three in Practice at Five Flags Speedway

Top-Three in the ARCA Menards Series practice session on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Michael Self No. 25, Chandler Smith No. 20, and Christian Eckes No. 15. (photo taken before the practice session at Five Flags Speedway)
Photo – Jay ‘MJ’ Husmann/Fan4Racing Blog and Radio

Earlier today and before the ARCA Menards Series practice at Five Flags Speedway, Tom Venturini with Venturini Motorsports spoke with a few media members by their hauler, and his thoughts about the organization and their prospects for this weekend may turn out to be prophetic.

“I have all the confidence that we have three of the fastest cars here this and every weekend.  All three will be near the top of the board.  What order?  Well….”

Tom Venturini, Media Relations Manager at Venturini Motorsports

Although everyone may have different ideas of what the order might be, as it turns out, all three Venturini drivers swept the podium three spots in practice. Michael Self and his No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota was only one-tenth quicker than teammate Chandler Smith in the No. 20 Craftsman Toyota.  2016 Snowball Derby winner at Five Flags Speedway, Christian Eckes in the No. 15 JBL Audio machine was third. 

Rounding out the top-five is No. 18 Ty Gibbs and No. 22 Corey Heim.  Local driver Bret Holmes from Mundford, AL is sixth in the No. 23.

Practice doesn’t necessarily translate over to qualifying or the race, but where there is speed, the results typically follow.  The key at Five Flags Speedway is to manage the car and tires throughout the night on the rough surface of the gulf coast half-mile track. 

“I just don’t know if practice is going to mean a whole lot here tonight.  This place is so unbelievably abrasive, man.  I mean our lap times fell off like over a second and a half over the course of 60 laps on the tires.  That’s going to be the name of the game here tonight.”

Michael Self, the fastest driver in the ARCA Menards Series practice at Five Flags Speedway

Most teams end the session on a qualifying run so no changes are expected to be made to the trio of cars before the race. 

See how it shakes down in qualifying and Saturday night’s ARCA Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions at 8 pm ET on MAVTV. Live timing and scoring are also available for registered fans at