Cheryl Butler Nelson’s fondest childhood memories revolved around racing. The co-owner and proprietor with husband Kevin of Butler U-Pull-It, once again the sponsor for the Bombers division at Five Flags Speedway, fondly recalls late nights at Flomaton (Ala.) Speedway sitting in the wrecker her father Jack Butler owned. “We’d sit in the infield, and when a wreck happened, he’d let me flip lights, and I’d get to tell dad when it was time to go,” Nelson said. “The smell of the exhaust and the roar of the raw horsepower, it gets my blood flowing. My love and my business go hand in hand.” That’s why Nelson and Five Flags make a perfect fit. Butler U-Pull-It, a self-service salvage yard at 2730 Hollywood Ave. in Pensacola, is in its third year attaching its name to the Bombers series. “That’s the type of car I sell parts [...]
Jim Pokrant remembers the first night he came to Five Flags Speedway. One of his father’s close friends brought the 9-year-old boy out to the racetrack one Friday night. Little James Pokrant sat in the grandstands, not saying a word the whole evening. He was awestruck by the power of the cars, the non-stop excitement of the action. He was hooked immediately. Pokrant would do almost anything he could to collect enough money so that he was able to return each and every race night. “I used to pick up aluminum cans and use those to pay for my pit passes,” he said. “My mom dropped me off, she’d come back at 1 or 2 in morning and pick me up. She knew it was a place to keep me out of trouble.” These days, Pokrant finds trouble at Five Flags from time to [...]
Chuck Corder Hunter Robbins’ faith never wavered. While his Pro Late Model crew tried to plug a leak in his No. 18 car, the Montgomery, Ala., driver kept his focus. Robbins was rewarded for his patience Friday night at Five Flags Speedway, as he came from the end of the line to win the Allen Turner Elantra 100 in the Pro Late Models’ season debut. It marked the second time in last two Pro Late Model races at Five Flags that a driver came from the back of the pack to Victory Lane. That’s what Chase Elliott did at last year’s Snowflake 100. “It’s pretty cool,” a giddy Robbins said. “I told (his crew) that Chase passed more cars than we did, so I knew it could be done. That’s what we did.” Robbins, who brought out the first of the first of 11 cautions Friday, passed [...]
Written by Chuck Corder News Journal correspondent Ronnie Smith gives you goose bumps describing the impact of winning at Five Flags Speedway. He should know. The local boy, turned 38-year-old father of two, has done more than just capture a handful of features. In 2009, Smith hoisted the Pro Late Model track title. And while he followed that with a respectable runner-up finish to Mobile’s D.J. VanderLey last season, Smith has his eyes on returning the championship to Pensacola. He looks to begin that quest Friday night at the half-mile asphalt oval when the Pro Late Models kick off their seasons with the Allen Turner Elantra 100. “Anytime you can represent Pensacola for anything you do, any type of sport, it means a lot,” Smith said. “Someone like Johanna Long winning the Snowball Derby (last year), and being a native of Pensacola says a lot. [...]
Ronnie Smith gives you goose bumps describing the impact of winning at Five Flags Speedway. He should know. The local boy, turned 38-year-old father of two, has done more than just capture a handful of features. In 2009, Smith hoisted the Pro Late Model track title. And while he followed that with a respectable runner-up finish to Mobile’s D.J. VanderLey last season, Smith has his eyes on returning the championship to Pensacola. He looks to begin that quest Friday night at the half-mile asphalt oval when the Pro Late Models kick off their seasons with the Allen Turner Elantra 100. “Anytime you can represent Pensacola for anything you do, any type of sport, it means a lot,” Smith said. “Someone like Johanna Long winning the Snowball Derby (last year), and being a native of Pensacola says a lot. You have a lotta pride [...]
This’ll come as a shock to no Five Flags loyalist: The Sportsman class is once again the live of the Friday night asphalt party. Steve Buttrick and Randy Thompson have won the first two races. Thompson, who originally finished third in the last feature April 8, assumed the checkered flag only after the first- and second-place cars were disqualified in post-race tech. The top four currently in points are separated by just 17 points with Brannon Fowler leading the pack with 110. “It’s a tight points battle. It could change at the top any time,” the Cantonment driver said. “It’s a fun class and it is competitive. We’re still searching for little bit to get us over the hump.” Fowler will try to get over the hump and snag his first career Sportsman win Friday night. Super Stocks and Bombers also will see action with the Allen [...]
Bubba Winslow had never been involved in a finish like this. Sure, the Cantonment driver may be only 21, but he’s more than just a spring chicken around Five Flags Speedway. Winslow finished as the season runner-up in the Sportsman division last year before moving up to Super Stocks for 2011. Still, when it came to the exciting end of the Super Stocks’ season opener March 25, Winslow found himself in uncharted waters. “We had some pretty good finishes last year, but that was definitely a nail-biter,” he said. To say the least. Winslow was just happy to come out on the right side of a photo finish that saw him clip Jesse Reid at the line. He hopes it won’t be nearly that tight when the Super Stocks return to Five Flags on Friday night. Sportsman and Bombers also will see action with the Allen [...]
There were glimpses of greatness for Curtis Faircloth last year at Five Flags Speedway. As Mike Goraum dominated the Bombers division en route to the both the track and Snowball Derby titles, Faircloth managed to prove Goraum’s toughest challenge. That is, when the Pace driver decided to race. Faircloth only ran a handful of features, but did take home a pair of checkered flags to briefly interrupt Goraum’s magnificent run of double-digit wins in an historic season. Through two races in 2011, Faircloth seems to have picked up where Goraum left off. Faircloth has captured both features and taken full advantage of Goraum’s leap to the Sportsman class. He looks to make it a hat trick when the Bombers return to the half-mile asphalt oval Friday night. “I’ve exceeded my expectations so far this year,” Faicloth said. “I thought there’d be four or five [...]
The Pro Late Model Drivers get to test out their cars Thusday evening at 5 Flags at the second open practice of the season. The practice is open to drivers in all classes of competition, in addition to the 4 classes set to compete on Friday night. Friday will be the first of 5 one hundred green lap features this year for the PLM division. It's free to sit and watch in the grandstands. and $10 for the pits. Practice runs from 5 to 9pm.
Division: Modified Name: Scooter Grice Age: 35 Hometown: Pensacola Car#: 7 Years In Racing: 21 Years Car Owner: Gary Corr and ShelbyGrice Crew Members: Gary Corr,Thumper Grice,AnthonyGrice,GavinGrice Sponsors: Salon Suites of Pensacola,White Gloves cleaning service,Wes Paul Auto Glass,HardCorr Racecars and street machines Family: wife:Shelby Son(s)Thumper,Anthony, Gavin Job Info: Gulf Power company Racing Accomplishments: Returning to my 1st (full) season of racing in 10 years. Comments: Our team has experience in every level of racing at FFS, from bombers to late models, and have celebrated success at each level. We are passionate about the modified division due to the level of competition it provides on a race to race basis.The modifieds are kind of like the Truck Series in Nascar, or the PGA seniors tour. everyone has been around the block. and knows how to get around FFS. We look forward to a great season in 2011. and wish the same for everyone else.