Chandler Smith returns to his ARCA Menards Series pole-winning ways, setting a fast time of 16.990 to start up front in his No. 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry for the ARCA Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions. Sitting to his outside is the only car that was faster than him in practice, his Venturini Motorsports teammate Michael Self in the Sinclair Oils No. 25.
“It means a lot, especially for this place. I feel like it’s going to be whoever gets out front, sets the pace for everybody, and that’s how the rest of the field is gonna end up pacing. So I’m really glad I’m sitting out front and I’m definitely gonna be able to set the pace.”Chandler Smith, The ARCA Pensacola Pole Sitter at Five Flags Speedway
That pace will come into to play throughout the night, as tire wear is the hottest topic all weekend, especially after practice.
“Oh yeah, its gonna be about conserving that right front and right rear, as well as the left rear.”Chandler Smith, speaking on the importance of starting in the front, especially on a short track.
Driving a car numbered in the ’20s seemed to be the theme in qualifying as every car in the top-five was just that. The No. 28, Carson Hocevar was third quick, No. 22 Corey Heim fourth, and No. 23 Brett Holmes fifth. The No. 19 of Raphael Lessard, the first car to time in, hung on to a sixth-place start.
The ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway begins at 8 pm ET on Saturday, March 9th on MAVTV. Registered fans will find live timing and scoring available at ARCARacing.com