The 2023 ARCA Menards Series East season roars to life this Saturday night with the annual running of the Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
It marks the 37th season for the series, which started in 1987 with Joey Kourafas capturing the inaugural series championship. Saturday’s race marks the sixth time the East Series has raced at the popular facility.
The first ARCA sanctioned event at Five Flags Speedway took place in 1992 when Roy Payne earned his only ARCA victory. Other ARCA victors at Five Flags have included Harold Fair, Gary Bradberry, Bob Schacht, Frank Kimmel and Michael Self.
The ARCA Menards Series East made its inaugural Five Flags stop in 2013, with Ben Kennedy taking home the checkered flag. Ben Rhodes, Sam Mayer and Sammy Smith have also scored East Series victories at Five Flags.
Tickets to the Pensacola 200 are available. Below is everything to know about Saturday’s event.
Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
The hunt for the 2023 ARCA Menards Series East championship begins Saturday for several drivers, all of whom will be looking to make names for themselves during the eight-race season.
They’re headlined by Tyler Reif, who is fresh off his breakthrough victory during the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series West combination race at Phoenix Raceway. Reif, driving for Lowden-Jackson Motorsports, will be chasing both the West Series and East Series championships in 2023.
Another driver planning a full season effort in the East Series this year is William Sawalich. Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, Sawalich opened his season by winning the pole at Phoenix Raceway and leading the most laps before being spun out while leading late in the race.
MORE FIVE FLAGS: Schedule | Tickets
Luke Fenhaus, a winner of the Slinger Nationals at Wisconsin’s Slinger Super Speedway, will make his ARCA platform debut for the new Pinnacle Racing Group aboard the No. 28 Chevrolet. He’s also scheduled to chase the East Series championship in 2023.
Venturini Motorsports will be on hand with a pair of entries for Jake Finch and Sean Hingorani. Like Reif, Hingorani is slated to contest the full West and East Series schedules during the 2023 season. After a strong run at Daytona International Speedway in February, Rev Racing’s Lavar Scott is back in action at Five Flags.
Other entrants for the Pensacola 200 include R.J. Smotherman, Zachary Tinkle, Dale Shearer, Tanner Arms and Ed Pompa.
The complete entry list for Saturday’s Pensacola 200 is available here.
|PLACE||Five Flags Speedway|
|DATE||Saturday, March 25, 2023|
|TIME||7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET|
|TV CHANNEL/LIVE STREAM||FloRacing|
|TRACK LAYOUT||Half-mile paved oval|
|EVENT SCHEDULE||Saturday, March 25: Final Practice from 2:30-3:30 p.m. CT…General Tire Pole Qualifying (Timed Session) at 4:30 p.m. CT…Pensacola 200 (200 laps / 100 miles) at 7 p.m. CT|
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Pensacola 200 is limited to 22 plus provisional positions. This event will run under the 2023 ARCA Menards Series East rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.
QUALIFYING: : Two consecutive laps qualifying. No adjustments or repairs may be made on the car after taking green flag at start/finish line. All cars must make a qualifying attempt, all drivers must practice before they can qualify.
RACE PIT STOP: Oval break pitting procedure. Break at/or near the conclusion of lap 100. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box once race has started. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to last 10 laps of race. (Learn about all of ARCA’s pit stop procedures here.)
The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Per ARCA Rulebook, maximum tire usage for this event (purchased plus from-home tires) is 12. Maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is four (4).