Flyin’ Ryan Flies to Allen Turner PLM Sweep; Buttrick Scores Fifth Sportsman Victory

By Chuck Corder Ryan Luza received a horrible surprise for his 19th birthday Thursday. The Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Model series points leader crunched his No. 14 car when he splashed through a patch of oil during practice at Five Flags Speedway. Larry Blount knew exactly what to get Luza. Blount, a Jacksonville-area driver, yielded his No. 21 car so Luza could try to protect the 28-point cushion he carried into Friday. And protect it, Luza did. The young Texan swept the evening. He qualified first (16.574 seconds) ahead of 12 other drivers, led all 20 laps in the opening feature and pulled off a dadgum miracle in the 30-lap nightcap Friday at Pensacola’s high banks. “I gotta thank Larry Blount for giving me this opportunity,” Luza said. “We had a terrible time with the (No.) 14 car. This car’s amazing.” The driver and the Luza-Blount crews weren’t half bad themselves. The combined teams helped [...]

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Andy W.’s Last Name Isn’t Only Thing about the Pro Trucks Driver to Turn Heads

By Chuck Corder Who knew you could learn so much about someone in a 10-second voicemail? “Hey, this is Andy W. … Gimme a call back when you get time.” The “W” is short for Wojtaszczyk, the tongue-twisting last name of Pro Trucks driver Andy Wojtaszczyk. The same one you could easily mistake for an eyechart that sits on that far wall staring back at you in your optometrist’s office. Wojtaszczyk knows you’re going to butcher his last name. The 42-year-old Texan by way of upstate New York is resigned to his fate, at this point. He has heard many variations of his surname — too many to count, to be honest — which is correctly and phonetically pronounced “Va-ta-strick.” “I’ve had 40 years’ worth of people saying it wrong,” Wojtaszczyk said. “Unless they’re Polish, no one gets it right.” So to spare southern strangers any potential embarrassment, Wojtaszczyk leaned on his gracious personality. He chose [...]

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Allen Turner Hyundai PLMs: Big Asphalt Dreams Drive Holmes Toward Top at Five Flags

By Chuck Corder Perhaps it’s his proximity to one of auto racing’s most hallowed theaters. Perhaps it’s his drive and determination to one day drive on NASCAR’s biggest stages. Perhaps, it’s his sheer knack to balance a full college course load with an equally busy racing schedule. Whatever lures you in about Brett Holmes, it certainly seems the 18-year-old late model driver from Munford, Ala., is destined for big things. Holmes, born and raised 15 minutes from Talladega Superspeedway, hopes racing is part of the picture. For now, Holmes lives the dream by competing against the nation’s top late model drivers and trying to conquer iconic short tracks, such as Five Flags Speedway. After a few near misses already this season, the Auburn freshman returns to Pensacola’s high banks Friday for another test in the Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Model doubleheader feature (20-/30-lappers). “This next 20 lapper, I’ll be pretty disappointed, honestly, if we [...]

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RESERVED SNOWBALL DERBY © SEATS NOW AVAILABLE

Tickets for the 48th Annual Snowball Derby are now available at the office. The event is December 3 to 6, 2015, plus arrival of rigs, and pit party on Wednesday December 2nd. Come by or call Mon-Friday 9am to 5pm. Phone 850-944-8400. Good seats are still available. Look at the seating chart and tell us your section preference and how many in your party. Also ask about the VIP upgrade where you have a reserved grandstand seat, plus a 4 day pass to the pits. Hotels are available nearby. Look at tab on top of this site and click FANS and then LODGING.

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Packed House Roars as Beard Captures Heart-Stopping Demolition Derby; Aramendia Dominates Mods of Mayhem

By Chuck Corder Like a true Demolition Derby champion, Eric Beard had no regard for his fellow drivers. The Dora, Ala., resident threw caution to the wind and smashed anything that sat between him and the winner-take-all, $1,500 prize. He outlasted three-time champion Ronnie Smith and 12 other drivers who left the Five Flags Speedway front straightaway tattered and resembling a junkyard. Beard shared a long embrace with his wife and accepted congratulations from second-place Stan McClure of Jasper, Ala., a neighboring community to Beard’s Dora. “I came down here last year and they demolished me,” a jubilant Beard said. “But I held no grudges and I came back tonight to play.” Modifieds of Mayhem Joe Aramendia could’ve put it in cruise control Friday at Five Flags Speedway. Behind him, though, was where all the beating and banging was happening in the second 50-lap Modifieds of Mayhem race in Pensacola this season. Aramendia took the lead on Lap [...]

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Listen to Them Roar: Mods Gaining Steam, Cars Thanks to First-Year Mayhem Series

By Chuck Corder Stan Narrison couldn’t wrap his head around this revelation. A few years ago, shortly after Narrison had assumed promoter duties for Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway, he was inundated with requests from drivers and fans to host more shows featuring open-wheel modifieds. This, despite the car turnout for modifieds events being paltry at best. Some races would only see three or four compete. A perplexed Narrison began investigating reasons why the supply didn’t meet the demand. He quickly discovered that modified drivers felt disrespected. “They never felt like the track was committed to them,” said the 55-year-old Narrison, who entered the promotion ranks in 2000. “When I took over, I told them if they came out for that first race, I’d guarantee them we’d run five the next year. “Our first time, we had 22 open wheel modifieds come in. I told them right then, they were on the schedule for next [...]

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Insanity Pleas: Pensacola Lawyer Marcus Michles Ready for Second Demolition Derby

By Chuck Corder Leave it to a lawyer to concoct a way for his own family to sue him for emotional distress. Marcus Michles — one partnership half of the Pensacola personal injury law firm of Michles & Booth — nearly brought a lawsuit upon himself following his Demolition Derby debut last year at Five Flags Speedway. Michles’ 16-year-old daughter Madison and her younger brother Cameron, 14, knew the chances dear ol’ dad would get tossed around by the competition were high. Watching their father engage in what they pictured as harmless fun would be perfect payback for all the times he banished them to their rooms or swiped their smart phones as forms of punishment. The reality, though, was much harsher than they imagined and left them scarred. “The kids were reduced to tears,” said Marcus Michles, whose practice has been open for 12 years in Pensacola and also has offices in Fort [...]

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Snowball Derby News Aug 2015

Tickets: for grandstand reserved seats will go on sale Wednesday August 19th, Ticket prices are the same as last year. There is also a VIP ticket package that includes a reserved grandstand seat and a pit pass. Purchase yours either in person at the speedway office, or by telephone using a credit card. Call 850-944-8400 Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm. The Snowball Derby Preview, a day of practice is set for November 21. It is free to watch from the grandstands, and draws a large field of drivers in all 7 divisions. There is an admission charge if you want to be in the pits. Motels There are many motels in the area that can accommodate you. The track has a listing when you call to reserve your tickets, or check listing here on the web site. Camping and RV sites Currently there is a waiting list for RV spots on site. Camping is available 2 [...]

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