Five Flags Speedway is nationally known as the ‘Home of the Snowball Derby’. The track is building on that legacy and growing for the future. Last year, the ARCA Menards Series made their return to the Pensacola, Florida locale for the first time since 1996. This year, the popular half-mile track is hosting the ARCA Menards Series East for the Pensacola 200 this Saturday night.
Headlining the race is an impressive list of up-and-coming drivers.
Let’s start with the defending ARCA East champion Sam Mayer, who is returning in the No. 21 GMS Racing machine. Mayer is looking to add to his victory total already this season. In three races so far, he’s put up two wins. He won at New Smyrna Speedway in the ARCA East, and The Bullring at Las Vegas in the ARCA West. At Phoenix Raceway in the first of ten ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown events, Mayer finished 20th. Expect the team to bounce back and contend for the trophy in the second ARCA East race of the season.
Another driver who will likely be at the front is 17-year-old Ty Gibbs in the No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota. Gibbs is consistently in the top-five. He finished second in the ARCA Menards Series race here last March. And is coming off a third-place run in the Sioux Chief Showdown opener at Phoenix. That kind of momentum is tough for competitors to slow down.
Hometown fans are in for a treat as ARCA contender Bret Holmes returns this weekend in his No. 23 Toyota. He’s a successful Pro Late Model Champion at this track. Holmes was 15th in the Showdown at Phoenix. But he finished sixth at Five Flags Speedway last year. Holmes wants to put on a good show for his family and friends at his home track again this weekend.
Other Notables to Watch
This year’s top point contenders include both Rev Racing drivers, Nick Sanchez in the No. 6 and Chase Cabre in the No. 4. They finished fourth and ninth in the opener at New Smyrna. Cabre is also the runner-up to Mayer for the championship last year.
New ARCA East Entries and More Racing
And to make the weekend more exciting there’s more. A pair of regular Snowball Derby entries are Late Model drivers Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse. Not only do they have history at the track but the duo also has a history with each other. Along with that is the Vore’s Compact Touring Series making their debut. And the regular weekly divisions of Outlaws and Pure Stocks also competing this weekend.
Fans have a big weekend of fantastic racing at Five Flags Speedway on March 13th and 14th. The green flag for the ARCA East Pensacola 200 is on Saturday, March 14th at 8 pm ET. NBC Sports Gold TrackPass members can watch all the action on live streaming. And the delayed broadcast is on NBCSN on Monday, March 23rd at 6 pm ET.