ARCA Menards Series East Race Recap: Five Flags Speedway

David Gilliland Racing

Saturday, March 19

Five Flags Speedway

Track: Five Flags Speedway, half-mile oval
Race: 2 of 7
Event: Pensacola 200 (200 laps, 100 miles)

Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance Fusion

Start: 2nd
Finish: 3rd

  • Securing the quickest time in the lone practice session, Taylor Gray qualified second for the Pensacola 200, lining up on the front-row for his second consecutive ARCA Menards Series East event this season.
  • Lap 28 saw Gray set up race leader Leland Honeyman for a pass exiting turn four, taking the lead before a wreck on the next lap would bring the field under yellow. On the subsequent restart, the Ford Performance Fusion would get a strong jump, and hold on to the lead for the next 65 laps.
  • Following a small track bar and air pressure adjustment during the scheduled break on lap 75, the Artesia, NM native would develop a loose condition that eventually cost him the lead as the race approached the halfway mark.
  • Despite sliding back to fifth, a restart on lap 127 would see Gray quickly move back up the order, settling into second-place by lap 135.
  • The 16-year-old was steady on the heels of the race leader for the ensuing long green-flag run. However, a flurry of cautions with less than 30 laps remaining culminated in a restart violation on lap 188. The penalty ultimately dropped the No. 17 to fourth, and with only 10 laps remaining, Gray was forced to settle for a third-place finish at 5 Flags Speedway.

Next event: Dover 125 at Dover Motor Speedway in Dover, Delaware on April 29th at 5:30 p.m. ET with the ARCA Menards Series East.