Hunter Lambert is on the Move!admin
As Five Flags Announces 2020 Season will Start May 8, Lambert Readies for Outlaws Division
By Chuck Corder
Hunter Lambert’s age belies his maturity.
While some 20-year-old drivers might have grown frustrated and upset that their 2020 racing season was halted because of COVID-19, Lambert took it all in stride.
The Tate High School graduate, who was racing at Five Flags Speedway since he was a 15-year-old freshman, understands that physically distancing has helped ensure the safety of fans, drivers, and track officials.
“I think Tim (Bryant) and the track made the best move possible in delaying races,” Lambert said. “We all wanna race. There are days that being cooped up gets to you, but it’s not worth putting the fans at risk for that.
“At the end of the day, it’s so much better to stay home. And just because we’re not racing, that doesn’t mean we can’t work on the racecar.”
Thankfully, for Lambert and drivers from four local classes, they no longer have to just work on the racecar.
Track General Manager Tim Bryant and Five Flag officials announced Wednesday that the famed half-mile asphalt oval will drop the green flag on the 2020 season on May 8. It will be all local classes – Faith Chapel Outlaws, WCIparts.com Pro Trucks, The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen, and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks – with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m.
Admission is as follows: adults $15; seniors, military, and students $12; children ages 11 and under will get in free. Racing will continue with the same program of local classes May 15.
The track is taking all necessary precautions to provide a safe environment for everyone involved but is encouraging fans who have masks readily available to bring them for their own safety and those around them.
Hunter Lambert and his father, Tommy Lambert, have been putting in the work on their Outlaws car – sponsored by Tommy’s TFL Construction business and Paradise Screenprinting and Embroidery. The father-son duo installed a new motor and body, which they hope will help with the car’s downforce.
Hunter Lambert ran the Outlaws in the class’ inaugural season of 2017, but in recent years his career has been spent racing The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and the WCIparts.com Pro Trucks divisions.
“The Outlaw class has been, by far, the best class I’ve raced in so far,” he said. “Other classes are good, but me and my dad love that you can do a lot more with Outlaws than the other cars.”
While optimistic about his chances on May 8, Hunter Lambert admits he’ll be doing a lot of studying and following around some Outlaws veterans, such as defending champion Chris Cotto among others.
Until next Friday night, Hunter Lambert will continue to stay sharp, competing on the popular iRacing gaming system. The virtual racing platform even has a Five Flags track where he and friends, such as late model standout Connor Okrzesik, have been competing.
Does it measure up to the real thing?
“It looks like it,” Hunter Lambert said. “but it doesn’t feel 100 percent the same.”
After a five-month absence, Lambert and a slew of other local drivers will, finally, get a taste of the real thing on May 8.