Thanks to an unusual act of sportsmanship from a fellow driver, 15-year-old Harrison Burton enjoyed the grand elation of winning the 100-lap Rubber & Specialties Blizzard Series race Friday night at Five Flags Speedway. “I wanted to win here so bad,” he said. “I’ve never been happier.” Just a few laps earlier, he had never been so frustrated. He was trying to pass race leader Bubba Pollard in turn 4 on lap 94. The two touched and Pollard spun out. During the caution, race officials announced Burton would have to go to the rear of the field. “My heart was broken,” Burton said. “There was contact, but it was just a racing deal.” But in a rare act rarely seen in stock car racing, Pollard pulled onto pit road during the caution and told race officials that the spin wasn(’t Burton’s fault. Race officials put Burton back in second place next to Casey Roderick. “Bubba [...]
By Chuck Corder When you’re a natural, you can become immune to nerves. Every time Taylor Jorgensen climbs behind the wheel of her Legends car, she has to shoo away butterflies from her stomach. But once the 20-year-old female driver from Stockbridge, Ga., slides into her Pro Trucks No. 3, a sense of peace washes over Jorgensen and she feels right at home. “I haven’t been nervous through this whole experience,” she said. “All I can say, is behind the wheel of a truck is the most comfortable I’ve been in a racecar. When you get a driver comfortable, beautiful things happen.” Jorgensen’s first season in a full-sized stock car of any kind has been a thing of beauty, a sight to behold. She has turned heads by winning her first two Pro Trucks features in as many outings, and hopes to add to a perfect rookie campaign during a 40-lap feature Friday at Five [...]
Young Gilliland Brings Historic Season, Humble Approach to Five Flags for Rubber and Specialties 100admin
By Chuck Corder Todd Gilliland takes a more subdued approach with his celebrations. Most of all, he eschews the most popular post-race theatrics: the burnout. “I don’t wanna destroy anything,” said Todd, wise beyond his 16 years of age. “I like to pull the car into Victory Lane and then celebrate. My dad always preached, ‘Act like you’ve been there before and you’re going to be there again.' It’s something we’ve always done.” The teenager has done it a lot of it in the last year, including a record stretch of four consecutive wins on the K&N Pro Series that had the sport all abuzz. Todd Gilliland, son to NASCAR driver David Gilliland, will carry his milestone run into Five Flags Speedway on Friday Night when the Deep South Crane Blizzard Series resumes with the Rubber and Specialties 100. “It’s awesome to be able to get back down to Five Flags,” he said. “You look [...]
The speedy Super Late Models, the stars of the Snowball Derby © pull a Gulf Coast double header this Memorial Day weekend. Friday nite here at 5 Flags Speedway with 100 laps and a fire works show. Then load up to Mobile International Speedway Saturday evening for an encore. The Rubber & Specialties Blizzard 100 evening begins at 8pm following time trials at 6:45pm. The fireworks sky show is expected shortly after 9pm when it turns dark. The Friday event here will also highlight a competitive battle in the Beef O’Brady Truck series, dominated by 19 year old Georgia driver Taylor Jorgensen. All that along with The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and the Butler U Pull It Bombers.
By Chuck Corder Donnie Hamrac rests his head in Semmes, Ala. But, there’s no question, his home away from home is across the state line at Five Flags Speedway. Hamrac has made it a great habit of winning big modified races at Pensacola’s high banks. Hamrac owns a couple of modified track championships at Five Flags and is the three-time reigning Modifieds Snowball Derby king. He collected another crucial victory Friday night at Five Flags, dominating the opening of two 40-lap features in the Modifieds of Mayhem. “It takes everybody,” Hamrac said. “I can’t thank my team enough for their hard work, from David Jones to Charlie Phillips.” Starting from the second position, Hamrac led every lap as he shot past pole sitter Jason Morman at the drop of the opening green flag. Morman, who traveled all the way from Seabrook, Texas, finished runner-up to Hamrac. “That was a tough one,” he said. “(Hamrac) runs pretty fast. [...]
The racing community has always been home to Good Samaritans. The drivers and car owners in the Southern Vintage Racing Association are no exception. In fact, the group, which features 1934 Ford and Chevy open-wheeled coupes and sedans, might be closer-knit than most. Local vintage racer Levi Plato can attest. After Plato rolled his car last month at Northwest Florida Speedway, fellow vintage driver Blake Martin decided to organize a benefit for Plato. The event will be 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Ollie’s Restaurant in Milton. A car show and car wash are planned with all proceeds raised going to help Plato get back on the track. Additionally, another local racer, Billy Roberson, is giving Plato a chassis and Jerry Marquis has already pledged to help Plato put the car back together. — Chuck Corder
By Chuck Corder Steve Buttrick has finally gone worldwide. That should come as no surprise to folks that have seen Buttrick wheel a racecar or the legions of kids who receive the gentle giant’s trophies on Friday nights at Five Flags Speedway. What will surprise them is Buttrick’s recent international acclaim isn’t for the reasons they might expect from one of the most accomplished champions Five Flags has ever crowned in its long and distinguished history. Buttrick, 54, worked as a jack-of-all-trades marine mechanic for 35 years until he went into business for himself a few years ago. Now, Buttrick constructs flexible impeller pumps for boats and ships the assembled kits all over the globe thanks to Amazon and eBay. “I’ve got 300 listings on eBay, 100 things on Amazon, and I’m doing around 500 transactions a month,” the Cantonment driver said. “There’s a lot to it, and I’m probably trying to do too [...]
Worsham Hopes Following in Old Man’s Modifieds Footsteps Means Reaching Victory Lane on Friday Nightadmin
By Chuck Corder Like most boys, Ryan Worsham grew up idolizing his father. And for good reason. Richard Worsham was an accomplished driver for 15 years at Five Flags Speedway and along the Gulf Coast. In 2002, a year before he hung up his fire suit, the elder Worsham won the Modifieds track title in Pensacola. On Friday, nearly 15 years after his father’s memorable championship, 16-year-old Ryan Worsham will follow in his father’s footsteps when the Modifieds of Mayhem series runs for the first time this season in Pensacola. “I wouldn’t wanna do this with anybody else,” the younger Worsham said. “I love working with my dad. That’s what we do. Some kids throw the football with their fathers. We’re in the shop until 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock at night, working on the car.” Father and son have worked together on full-bodied racecars since 2013. Ryan, now a freshman at Niceville High School, started [...]
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