By Chuck Corder Five Flags Speedway has been the catapult for quite a few famous sons of legendary NASCAR drivers in recent years. Chase Elliott, son of “Million Dollar” Bill, won the Snowball Derby in 2011 and the current Hendrick Motorsports driver is line to hop in Jeff Gordon’s Sprint Cup ride next year. Most recently, it was 17-year-old John Hunter Nemechek, offspring of Joe, hoisting the Tom Dawson trophy last December. On Friday night, another son etched his name in Five Flags lore during the opening Super Late Model race of 2015 at America’s Favorite Home Track. Kyle Grissom, son of former Nationwide Series champion Steve Grissom, held off a spectacular field to win the Mt. Dew Kickstart 100, the first of four Deep South Crane Rentals Blizzard Series race of the year. “That was pretty awesome to win here,” said the 25-year-old Grissom, whose father won in Pensacola in 1986. “We came here [...]
By Chuck Corder Just do a quick click through Garrett Jones’ social media platforms. Check out his recent photographs. It’s easy to tell the pint-sized wunderkind, who made a splash as a 13-year-old track champion at Five Flags Speedway two years ago, has hit a growth spurt. When he took the famed half-mile asphalt oval by storm in 2013, winning the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series track championship, Jones had a voice that wouldn’t stop cracking and a talent that wouldn’t stop blossoming. Now, a teenager with a few years under his belt, the 15-year-old’s octave levels have matured along with his height and, of course, a promising short-track career. Jones now finds himself behind the wheel of a Super Late Model. He would love nothing more than to get a breakthrough first SLM win Friday at Five Flags when the Deep South Crane Rentals Blizzard Series, in conjunction with the Southern [...]
By Chuck Corder A 12-year veteran of local dirt tracks, Branden Harris rarely lets anything or anyone rattle his cage. The 25 year old has seen a lot in racing and doesn’t easily crack in pressure situations or if other drivers feebly attempt head games. But there is one guy, a go-kart driver no less, who won’t be silenced and constantly needles Harris whenever there’s an opportunity. “He talks a little bit of trash, anything he can,” Harris said of the heckler. “He thinks he runs the show.” So who is this pain in Harris’ side? None other than Landen Harris, Branden and wife Whitney’s 6-year-old son. Branden’s toughest critic will be front and center Friday night at Five Flags Speedway to see his daddy make his Pro Trucks debut. For all his miniature bloviating, Landen is a fixture in his father’s shop. “He’ll go get wrenches, screwdrivers, whatever you need,” Branden Harris said of Landen, who [...]
Excitement Building for First SSS Gulf Coast Doubleheader | Speed 51 | 100% Short Track Racing For the first time since the running of the 47th Annual Snowball Derby, Super Late Models will roar to life this weekend in the Gulf Coast region. The Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco rolls into Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway and Mobile, Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway this upcoming weekend to kick-off the first Gulf Coast weekend of the 2015 racing season. The stars of the Southern Super Series will test themselves on the half-mile Pensacola oval on Friday, April 24 before traveling to Mobile to tackle the back end of the doubleheader weekend on Saturday, April 25. Series director Tim Bryant, also the promoter at Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway, is anticipating a great pair of events this weekend for Super Late Model fans in the region. The pair of weekend [...]
By Chuck Corder The wait was well worth it. A deluge postponed Opening Night at Five Flags Speedway by a week. When the skies finally cleared by noon on Friday, fans in Pensacola knew it was finally time to go racing. What a show they witnessed as the winged pavement sprint cars of the King of the Wing Series lit up the track. Bobby Santos led several times Friday, including the final 10 laps of the 40 lapper, to win the King of the Wing’s season opener. Kyle Edwards of Bartlett, Tenn., finished second and Tampa’s Troy DeCaire rallied home from the back for third. “That was just a lotta fun,” said Santos, a Franklin, Mass., native. “We got some great help after having a little setback last night. This was not the car we planned on running. I thought the other car was better, but obviously this one was pretty good.” The sprints were quite [...]
By Chuck Corder At around the tender age of 5, Sierra Jackson already had a daredevil itch to scratch. The youngster pleaded with her father, Mike, who raced motorcycles along with Sierra’s uncle, to put her on a bike. “He wasn’t gonna go for that,” Sierra said of Mike. “But he got me a car. I practiced a few times. And that was that. He didn’t have to think twice about it once he saw how much I loved it.” Her first car was a go-kart. That came when Sierra Jackson was 6. She has few vivid memories of her first career wins, but the plethora of trophies and Victory Lane photographs that adorn her family’s Idaho home don’t allow her to forget her grassroots beginnings easily. Now 22, and a senior studying health sciences at Boise State, these days Sierra Jackson drives a winged pavement sprint car. And on Friday night at Five Flags Speedway, [...]
Tim and Steve host a one hour call in TV show on BLAB highlighting the next 2 race events. Drivers from the King of the Wing series who are in town early have been invited to talk about the world’s fastest short track cars. Over 20 Winged Sprints are expected for the weather delayed season opener on Friday the 17th. Bombers, Pro Trucks, and Sportsmen will also make their 2015 debut. A week later, on the 24th, the first of the Deep South Crane Blizzard Series brings the speedy Super Late Models to the track. Plenty to talk about, on BLAB TV on local cable, and streaming on the web. 6pm Central time. Click HERE to watch live online
With some of the top Asphalt Sprint Car teams in the country set to do battle in The King of the Wing Southeast Tour and National Tour season opener on the Florida-Alabama Gulf Coast, promoter Tim Bryant and Series Director Davey Hamilton jointly announced today the event dates have been moved forward to April 17 & 18. “Given the distance that most of these teams travel to race with us on the Gulf Coast, we felt the high percentage of rain for the weekend was unfair to put them through”, stated Bryant. “ We know the possibility looms that the weather could change, however we simply played the odds to protect the teams from making a wasted trip”. Hamilton, an Indy 500 veteran now making his mark promoting big time national Sprint Car events, added, “taking the safe approach for our race teams will insure their return just 1 [...]
By Chuck Corder Davey Hamilton has been to Five Flags Speedway before. It was two seasons ago when the former Indy Racing League IndyCar Series stalwart helped ring in Opening Night in Pensacola with a host of winged pavement sprints. It was a milestone night for the veteran driver who qualified and competed in 11 Indianapolis 500s, his highest finish coming in 1998 when he came home fourth as Eddie Cheever enjoyed a milk-soaked victory. Hamilton, 52, returns to the famed half-mile asphalt oval this Friday for another opening night, as Five Flags gets its 2015 schedule started with a bang. This time, though, the Jamestown, Ind., resident will be running the show as Hamilton brings his fledgling “King of the Wing” series and the nation’s top winged sprints drivers back to Pensacola. “It was one of our goals to compete at quality racetracks,” Hamilton said of the series in just its second year. “We’re really [...]
Open practice Thursday April 16th. Pits will open at 4 PM. Practice will be from 5pm to 9 pm will fuel and tires available till 8pm. Fans can come watch their favorite drivers dial in their hot rods from the stands for free. We have a lot of buzz already about this year. You can view a complete schedule for the weekend below. Lets go racing! 4:00 Pits Open 5:00 Open Practice (tires & fuel available until 8:00) Friday April 10th 2:00 pm Pits Open 4:00 pm KOTW Practice 5:30 pm Super Stock, Sportsman, Bomber 6:45 pm Super Stock Qualifying 7:00 pm KOTW Sprint Car Qualifying 7:30 pm SS, SP, BMR Driver’s Meeting 7:55 pm Pre Race Ceremonies 8:00 pm KOTW Heats (3) Sportsman Heats (2) Bomber Heats (2) Super Stock Feature (25 Laps) KOTW Autograph Session KOTW Feature Sportsman Feature (25 Laps) Bomber Feature (20 Laps)
Each year, a competition of high school and college students exploring the limits of electric car technology is held here at 5 Flags. It is the Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic 120. Vaughn Nichols of Gulf Power, the event organizer gives us this update: Below are links to the registration form and the schedule for the day. We currently have teams that have said they are coming from California, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and of course Florida. Please fill out your team forms and send back to me at this email so we can start compiling the list of teams and cars. WE COULD HAVE OVER 25 CARS THIS YEAR! There is no cost to the team to compete. Lunch will be cooked and provided by the Engineering society for all registered team members, teachers and advisors. There is also a race at Five Flags the Friday night before our race. If you are [...]
Local drivers in search of a crew member now have a new source. Auto repair students at the George Stone Technical Center in Pensacola have been invited to explore the challenges and benefits of the volunteer opportunity for the 2015 racing season. Speedway GM Tim Bryant met with the students and teaching staff recently to personally invite students to link up with a local Bomber or Sportsmen driver, and learn a new dimension in automotive repair. Interested students in the automotive field are invited to the track Saturday March 21st at 10am for a tour and meet with interested car owners and drivers. The Bomber and Sportsmen classes were selected because drivers are local, and race in 13 events during the regular season. The speedway will provide the new crew members with pit passes for the season, and an identifiable t shirt. A limit of 10 students is planned for the first year. Drivers interested in adding a fresh set of hands to their [...]
Services are Monday at 1:30pm at the Harper Morris Funeral Home at Airport Blvd and 12th Ave. Visitation is Sunday 3-5pm.
The Racing Promoters Monthly (RPM) Workshop this week in Daytona paused long enough to recognize the six best track operators in 2014. Singled out from the Southeastern US was Tim Bryant of 5 Flags Speedway. The honor was presented by RPM, a Wisconsin based organization. Here are the 6 by region. Each is in the running for the National Promoter of the Year (ARPY) to be named later, voted on by the member tracks of RPM. Eastern Region: Bruce & Teresa Rogers and the Rogers Family, Grandview (PA) Speedway:; Region Two, Southeastern Region; Tim Bryant, Five Flags (FL) Speedway; Region Three, Central Region; Gary & Donna Howe, Kalamazoo (MI) Speedway; Region Four, Northern Region: Wayne Anderson, Don & Linus Mack, Darren Evavold, River Cities (ND) Speedway; Region Five, Great Plains Region; Dan Robinson, Lucas Oil (MO) Speedway; Region Six, Southwest and Western Region; Doug and Traci Hobbs, Evergreen (WA) Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Grant Enfinger had a new team and a familiar finish at Daytona. February 14, 2015 @ 4:16 pm Cars speed past the starting line led Mark Thompson, far left bottom, and Cody Coughlin, far left top, to begin the ARCA series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna) He dominated again and won the ARCA Series race at Daytona International Speedway for the second straight season. Enfinger led the most laps and raced to his ninth career victory in the stock car series. He went back-to-back at Daytona International Speedway with two different teams. He won last season with Team BCR Racing and was in the No. 23 Chevrolet on Saturday for GMS Racing. "I think this is the beginning of a lot of great things for GMS Racing," Enfinger said. Enfinger hoped the win was a sign of a [...]
February 6, 2015 –Jamestown, IN – King of the Wing Officials announced today that the Series is now a true National Series, with the addition of two races, 1 each in Florida and Alabama. “We are really excited to add the southeast tracks to our schedule. This is the fourth and final geographic region for the National Series to compete in. When the season ends in Bakersfield in November, our Champion will be crowned “King of the Wing” and be known as the best Pavement Winged Sprint Car Driver in the World,” stated Series Promotor and former Indy 500 driver Davey Hamilton, after securing dates for these tracks. The 2014 King of the Wing National Sprint Car Series will kick off on Friday Night April 10th at the legendary 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. The Series will then travel 67 miles west to Mobile International Speedway (MIS), another lightning [...]
We know him in the pits as a race fan, and pit crew member when his brothers Keith or Doug raced. Mike is highlighted in this archive photo when Keith won a Pro Late Model race a few years back. But in Milton, they know Mike as “Mr. Thorpe” principal at Milton High in Santa Rosa County. Now he is honored statewide. Details below courtesy of the Pensacola News Journal. Milton High School Principal Michael Thorpe has been named Florida's 2015 Innovative Principal of the Year by the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders, announced today (Wednesday) at a FCITL luncheon in Orlando. Thorpe has been an educator in the Santa Rosa County School District for 21 years, currently serving in his sixth year as principal at MHS. After beginning his career as a math teacher, Thorpe moved into instructional technology, contributing to the development of academic programs and creation of a school-wide [...]
Recently Dave Nolen, driver of the 9D Super Stock and Pro Challenge racecars, spent the day with students at Lincoln Park Primary in Pensacola Fl. Dave spent the day talking to students from pre-school to 3rd grade about the importance of reading. Dave talked about how reading can help them to better their lives and become whatever they wanted to be. After a short question and answer session with the students, Dave took the time to read 3 stores to them, racing related of course. The highlight of Dave's visit was when he took the students to the playground and showed off his Pro Challenge race truck.