Written by Josh Cooper News Journal correspondent www.pnj.com If the future of the automotive industry is electric cars, then Pensacola got a glimpse of the future as it sped by on Saturday. The fourth annual Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic Race was held Saturday at Five Flags Speedway. The race brought high school and college students from across the Southeast to race their self-built cars. Thirteen teams from across Florida, Arkansas and Texas competed in two 60-minute intervals around the half-mile track to rack up as many laps as they could. Pensacola High School and Pensacola State College represented the Gulf Coast’s science and engineering innovation. The race was sponsored and held by Electrathon America, an electric car racing company, SkillsUSA, an education program designed to show students the values of science and mathematics, Gulf Power Co., and Five Flags Speedway. The race was held in conjunction with the SkillsUSA 2012 World of Possibilities Career Expo that [...]
Defending 5 Flags Speedway Pro Late Model Champion D.J. VanderLey of Mobile has been suspended from competition for the the remainder of the 2012 regular season. The suspension comes on the heels of Friday Night’s 100 Lap Blizzard Series event for Super Late Models. The action was taken by Track Management following an incident under a lap 96 caution flag period with fellow competitor Grant Enfinger. “ The actions chosen by D. J. VanderLey on Friday Night were absolutely unacceptable, and will not be tolerated,” stated Speedway General Manager Tim Bryant, “and we believe only a penalty this severe will let D.J. and all other competitors know how serious we are about this.” The suspension announced Monday, takes effect immediately, and includes any and all race events thru the season ending “Night of Champions” on September 29th.
Grand American Race Cars has been accumulating wins here in the Super Late Models for 13 straight events. Frankie and Augie Grill built GARC cars had a bounty placed on that winning streak. The win on Friday the 27th in the Papa John’s 100 Blizzard Series by Mike Garvey saw a different chassis in victory lane. Garvey piloted his Port City car to a win and the bonus of $513. Garvey’s car owner Tracy Goodson is more than a Port City car fan, he is also a dealer.
By Chuck Corder Five Flags Speedway hoped to add some heat to the Blizzard Series this week with a little cash incentive. The nation’s elite Super Late Models were happy to oblige. In one of the more heart-pumping Blizzard races in recent history, Mike Garvey rose above the aggressive 30-car field and a caution-plagued affair to capture the Papa John’s 100 on Friday. Garvey collected the $513 bounty Five Flags put up for grabs to end the 13-race Blizzard streak that Grand American Race Cars had boasted. “You just have to keep your focus and concentrate and hit your marks,” said Garvey, whose chassis is made by Port City Racecar. “Anything can happen on the restarts. I was nervous at the end. Thankfully, it all worked out.” Thankfully, despite the 100 lapper being marred by 10 cautions. Garvey managed to avoid the lot of them, making his move on Augie Grill on Lap 75. Grill was [...]
By Chuck Corder There’s no love lost between Casey Smith and Augie Grill. The bad blood between two of Five Flags Speedway’s most popular Super Late Model drivers is a deep crimson. If Smith saw Grill stranded somewhere on I-10, suffice to say Smith wouldn’t pull over. Heck, he might even try to smoke the tires as he flew past Grill. “I don’t like him, and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about me,” Smith, 27, said. “He has purposely wrecked me in the past. He drives over his head sometimes and doesn’t think twice about it. “It’s just one of those things that when you race Augie Grill, you know he’s going to lay the bumper to you.” So the news this week that Five Flags has placed a $513 bounty in Blizzard Series events to end Grill’s Grand American Race Cars supremacy was music to Smith’s ears. First crack to take the [...]
By Chuck Corder Mike Garvey looked out his Perdido Key home and saw paradise. As specks of sunlight danced across slowly crashing waves, Garvey paused to give himself a proverbial pat on the back. It’s been about a month since Mike Garvey and wife Lisa left Atlanta’s frantic pace and put down roots in the lazy lagoon of Florida’s Panhandle. But one of the nation’s keenest late model drivers still has to check the calendar to be reminded. “Rent’s due,” Mike Garvey said. “That’s the only way I can remember it.” Now mere yards from the Gulf Coast’s paradise, the driver of Tracy Goodson’s No. 1 late models is mere miles from short-track racing’s paradise. Garvey, who won the Allen Turner Pro late Model Series opener last month, looks for redemption in his Super Late Model at the Papa John’s 100 on Friday night at Five Flags Speedway. The second of five Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series [...]
The Super Late Models roar into action for 100 laps on Friday April 27th. Chase Elliott, who is leading the pack in points will be in Virginia that weekend, opening the competition to other drivers. And there are a dozen plus contenders who could take the checkers. Sportsmen and Bombers will be back too!
Tuesday’s live TV show will focus on the Big Blizzard Race Friday Night at 5 Flags Speedway Hosts Steve Stokes and Tim Bryant will bring along a guest or 2, and discuss Sportsmen, Bomber and Blizzard races. Show is available on the web at www.BLABTV.com or over the air along the Gulf Coast.
By Chuck Corder Greg Young has many memories of Five Flags Speedway he recalls fondly. He also has had other days at Pensacola’s high banks where he recalls little. Opening Day, March 25, this year was one of the latter experiences. Young, 49, was knocked unconscious after a vicious collision with the Turn 1 wall during the Super Stocks feature. Ask the 25-year racing veteran about that fateful day and the details still remain fuzzy. Young remembers passing Brandon Harris and another car on the inside off Turn 4. As Harris fought back for the position, he clipped Young’s right, rear quarter panel and sent Young careening into the wall not once, but twice. “I don’t trust being around (Harris),” Young said. “He has done other people the same way by the way he drives. There’s enough stuff going on out there with race accidents, that there’s no sense deliberately doing that. “I’ve had people pass me [...]
If you held reserved seats for the 2011 Snowball Derby, then now is the time to renew. You can get the same seats for this year by calling the track office at 850-944-8400. Renewals will be accepted until August 1st. Beginning August 16th, all unclaimed tickets will be put up for sale. Prices remain the same as last year. $45 for Sunday only, $75 for all 4 days, Pit pass upgrade to VIP status is $120 each includes grandstands reserved seat and pass to pits.