Track Champion in Nashville, Dylan Fetcho Hunts Win at Allen Tuner Pro Late 100 Friday.

Track Champion in Nashville, Fetcho Hunts Wins, Allen Tuner Pro Late Model 100 at 5 Flags 

 

By Chuck Corder 

It’s usually all business when Dylan Fetcho and his team of family and friends drive seven hours from Tennessee to Five Flags Speedway. 

They’re typically too busy at the famed half-mile asphalt oval—tirelessly working on their Pro Late Model setup—to enjoy the perks Pensacola offers. Not on this trip, though. 

When the third Allen Turner PLM 100 wraps up Friday night—win or lose—Fetcho and company will enjoy some wellness time Saturday with a jaunt at the Pensacola Beach. 

“Normally, we head out and leave. But we’re getting some beach time in this time,” said Fetcho, the reigning Pro Late Model track champion at his native Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. 

First up, though, is turning in a strong performance Friday night at Five Flags. Fetcho sits sixth in a hotly contested points race for the Allen Turner PLM track championship, just 24 points out of first. Matt Craig leads all drivers on the strength of his season-opening win in April. Craig has a razor-thin lead against four other drivers, as the top five are separated by just 15 total points. 

The PLMs only have their season finale at their Night of Champions in October left after Friday concludes. The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen (25 laps) and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks (20) precede the PLMs. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday and admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military, students; and free for children ages 11-and-under. 

Fetcho’s best finish this season was a sixth in the May race. That matched the 20-year-old’s finish at the Snowflake 100 where he qualified second and was in the mix for the win all night before Jake Johnson took home the trophy eventually. 

“It’s definitely one of the hardest tracks to figure out and be fast at,” Fetcho said of Five Flags. “You have to save your stuff for late in the race because the surface is so rough. Unlike most tracks where you can save tires until around the midway point, Pensacola you have to take care of your tires all night.” 

He looks to do that Friday night in the family’s backup car. Fetcho runs their primary car back home in Nashville, about a 30-minute car ride from his hometown of Lebanon, Tenn. Scott Fetcho and his son set a goal this season to improve the backup car’s performance so that it can be a strong No. 2. 

The car that starts in Nashville was at last year’s ’Flake and will be the one Dylan Fetcho drives at this year’s edition in December, as well. 

“I’m definitely starting to feel more comfortable (at Five Flags),” said Fetcho, who is in his third year of racing at Pensacola’s high banks. “We brought the car down there for the Snowflake and it was fast. I expect another good run this year. 

“Hopefully, we get a top five this weekend. I’ll be happy with that. The backup car is not the best stuff we have, but it’s a good piece and it has run up front at Five Flags before.” 

Fetcho is in his fourth year racing Late Models. A decorated Legends car champion, Fetcho still enjoys driving those, too, when he is not working on his Late Model program. He believes driving Legends helps him drive Late Models because the wheel base in a Legends car is a lot shorter and its horsepower-to-wheel ratio is a lot more.  

“They’re harder to drive than Late Models,” Fetcho said of Legends cars. “When I get in a Late Model, I have got to back it down a little bit because you can get in and start overdriving it. They’re a blast, though, and a handful for sure.” 

He scored his first career PLM feature win last October in Nashville. Buoyed by that result Fetcho was in the hunt for the track championship on the final night of racing in 2020.  

Fetcho came into that evening trailing Cole Williams by a few points. The pair battled for positioning all night until Fetcho passed Williams and took over the points lead mid-race en route to finishing third to secure the track championship. 

“It was awesome,” Fetcho said. “So many historic people have raced there. To be able to add my name to the books like that was cool. 

“But, you know the win I had was almost as special as the championship. Getting that first win was huge. It’s hard nowadays to get wins.” 

Fetcho hopes he won’t be saying that Friday and a trip to the beach will be the perfect way to celebrate.