Skip to content
Sammy Smith, Mason Diaz
Sammy Smith (left) and Mason Diaz (right) chat prior to the Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions for the ARCA Menards Series East at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, on Feb. 27, 2021. (Morgan Givens/ARCA Racing)

PIT BOX: Southern National Marks East Series’ Final Standalone Race Of 2021

Saturday’s Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers at Southern National Motorsports Park is all about firsts and lasts.

The 200-lap race marks the first time the ARCA Menards Series East has visited the half-mile paved oval in Lucama, North Carolina. With four of the eight East Series races on the 2021 schedule already in the books, this is the first event of the second half of the season.

It is also the final standalone East Series race of 2021, as the last three on the schedule will be combination events with the ARCA Menards Series.

MORE SOUTHERN NATIONAL:

Fans will be able to attend Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series East race at Southern National. Discounted tickets are available at www.snmpark.com, and tickets will also be available at the gate on race day.

The Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers will be shown live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass starting at 8 p.m. ET. A replay of the race will broadcast on NBCSN on Thursday, June 17, starting at 4 p.m. ET.


Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Southern National 200 Main Logo

Halfway through the season, with a pair of wins and a top-five finish in each of the first four races, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Sammy Smith leads the ARCA Menards Series East championship standings by a healthy 22 points over second-place Mason Diaz.

If Diaz or anybody else is to close on Smith in the title race, and if any of the top seven drivers in points are to fight their way to a better standing by season’s end, Saturday’s race at Southern National is crucial.

Because this is the last standalone East race of the season, it’s the last time the series’ regulars will be able to race each other without additional competition from ARCA Menards Series drivers.

For example, when ARCA Menards Series regular Ty Gibbs entered the East Series race at Dover International Speedway last month, he led all 125 laps. Gibbs, ARCA Menards Series points leader Corey Heim and others will battle the East regulars when the series closes its season at Iowa Speedway (July 24), the Milwaukee Mile (Aug. 29) and Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 16).

So Saturday’s race at Southern National is an opportunity for East Series regulars who have not yet won this year.

Diaz is one who is itching for a victory given how strong he has run in 2021. He has three top-five finishes in four races, including runner-up efforts at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, and at Tennessee’s Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Joey Iest, who sits fourth in East Series points, is the only driver other than Smith and Diaz who has a top-five finish in at least three of the four races. He and Smith are the only drivers who have completed all 712 possible laps in the series this season.

Daniel Dye, who has finished in the top 10 in all four East Series races in 2021, is also looking for that first win. And starting at Southern National, he will push for that victory with the team that helped two-time reigning East champion Sam Mayer win five of the series’ six races last year.

Dye, who ran the first four events of the season with Ben Kennedy Racing, recently joined GMS Racing for the remainder of the East Series schedule (and select ARCA Menards Series races) beginning Saturday at Southern National. He will run the team’s famed No. 21 Chevrolet with Race to Stop Suicide sticking as his sponsor.

Another East driver entered at Southern National who has shown race-winning speed in 2021 is Rajah Caruth, the rookie competing on the platform as part of the NASCAR Driver for Diversity program. Caruth’s pair of top 10s, including a fourth-place finish at 5 Flags, has him seventh in points.

The complete entry list for Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series East race at Southern National can be viewed here.

RACING REFERENCE:

RACE FACTS

RACE Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers
PLACE Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina
DATE Saturday, June 12, 2021
TIME 8 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold
RADIO ARCARacing.com
TRACK LAYOUT Half-mile paved oval
LAPS 200
MILES 100
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, June 12: Garage opens at 11:45 a.m.; Practice at 2:45 p.m.; Qualifying at 5:30 p.m.; Southern National 200 at 8 p.m. (All times ET)
TWITTER @ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots, @SNM_Park, @_TrackPass

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers is limited to 24 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive laps qualifying. No adjustments or repairs may be made on car after taking the green flag at start/finish line. All cars must make a
qualifying attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify.

RACE PIT STOP: Break pitting procedure. There will be breaks at or near the conclusion of Laps 75 and 125. No adding or moving tires to or from the pit box once the race has started. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to the last 10 laps of the race.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire use at track (total “from home” plus purchased at track) for the event is 14. Per ARCA Rulebook, the maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is six (6).