Chandler Smith Wins, Best Overall 2 Night Performance, -By Chuck Corderadmin
Michles & Booth Twin 100s: Chandler Smith Exacts Revenge on Night 2, Cashes in on $15K at 5 Flags
By Chuck Corder
No one made it rain Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway as hoped, but someone certainly cashed in on several major achievements on Night 2 of the Michles & Booth Twin 100s.
Chandler Smith was not going to be denied an historical victory in a second consecutive Super Late Model race. Twenty-four hours earlier, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver led 94 laps in the Universal Fabricators 100 only to finish a heart-wrenching runner-up to Bubba Pollard.
The 19-year-old Smith left no doubt in the Michles & Booth 100 on Saturday. He collected $15,000 for earning the win and posting the weekend’s best average finish.
“I’ve really been having my faith tested the last few months,” said Smith, who has endured a stretch of bad fortune behind the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 truck. “I just kept praying and believing. It ain’t easy making these things go fast. Thanks to all my guys.”
The Jasper, Ga., native easily won his first career Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series and Southern Super Series race, taking the lead on Lap 30 and crushing the 28-car field. Smith also delivered Donnie Wilson Motorsports its first checkered flag at Pensacola’s high banks after more than two desperate decades trying.
“Everything had to happen right,” Smith said. “Last night, the cautions didn’t fall in our favor. Tonight, everything worked out. Hey, we finally got one for these Wilson guys. Man, I’m excited to get the monkey of my back. I’ve had horrible luck in anything I’ve been in this season.”
Smith has led the most laps in each of the three Blizzard Series races in 2021. He was out in clean air for 55 laps before motor failures parked him in last month’s opener. Then, Pollard turned up the pressure Friday night.
sSmith was “P1” for the final 70 laps Saturday and never withstood serious challenges from either runner-up Casey Roderick or Jake Garcia in third.
“You gotta go as hard as you can, but somehow keep the tires under you,” Smith said. “We just needed to keep our track position and look where we are now.”
Smith started seventh. He was inside of Pollard, who set Saturday night’s invert when he drew an “8” in Victory Lane on Friday. Pollard’s shot at a potential $40,000 fell by the wayside early. He had climbed just one position by Lap 20 when Pollard experienced suspension failure and crashed hard into the Turn No. 3 wall.
Michael Atwell, who was fastest in qualifying on Friday, was leading Saturday until Smith finally slide under him about a third of the way through.
Roderick turned in a gallant effort to come home second Saturday. He ran well Friday, climbing all the way to third, before he broke late in the race. Roderick rebounded in the Michles & Booth 100 on Saturday to finish 16 spots better than his original starting spot of 18th.
“We had a really fast car,” Roderick said. “Both nights we had a winning racecar. We came up short tonight. The cautions didn’t fly our way.
“It took the car a long time to come together. You can’t get too far behind the eight ball and play catch-up. One more caution and we would’ve been there and given (Smith) a run for the money.”
Faith Chapel Outlaws
A night after winning the EscaRosa Tree Service 30 for the Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks, Logan Boyett was at a loss for words as he once again stood in Victory Lane on Saturday at Five Flags Speedway.
Boyett’s flag-to-flag win in the Faith Chapel Outlaws 35-lap feature was a little more dramatic than his dominating performance Friday night.
The Pensacola driver held off runner-up Bubba Winslow in the closing laps and Boyett claimed his first career Faith Chapel Outlaws victory. Stuart Dutton finished third.
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t express enough just how hard these guys work,” Boyett said of his team. “This is awesome. Bubba put me through it. I haven’t had to drive that hard that quick in a long time. Just because he didn’t run me over is how I won that race.”
After the field stayed clean following a second restart with 32 laps completed, the Cantonment driver began applying pressure to Boyett’s bumper.
Winslow dove to the inside on the back straightaway with two laps remaining and the pair swapped paint as they both came out of Turn No. 4 sideways. Boyett maintained his lead, gripped the steering wheel tighter and sealed the victory.
“Logan is a class act,” Winslow said of his friendly rival. “They work on stuff just as hard as we do. We’ve struggled a bit this year, but we’re starting to get better. We drive to race everyone clean and always hope the favor is returned.”
The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen
If one win was cause for celebration, imagine what the scene will look like in Irvington, Ala., this weekend.
Teenage sensation Maddox Langham collected his second straight The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen feature Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway. This victory unlike his first career win earlier this month covered 30 laps instead of the Sportsmen’s typical 25 lappers.
“It’s been rough, but we’re finally figuring out what we need to do to start winning races,” Langham said. “It has been a heckuva ride so far, and I’m hoping the streak continues.”
Pensacola’s Jim Pokrant finished runner-up and maintained a healthy series points lead against Maddox Langham and older brother Jonathan Langham, who finished third.
Pokrant was fast in group qualifying (21.432 seconds) but started fifth after his die roll set the invert.
“I keep getting bit by the dice roll,” Pokrant teased. “I’m done rolling that thing. I suck at it.
“Tonight was OK. We’re doing good and I’m very happy with the season to this point.”