Back-to-back? Well the driver of the No. 18 did just that. Sammy Smith scored his second straight ARCA Menards Series East victory Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver opened up the season with a victory at New Smyrna Speedway a few weeks ago, and continued his success this weekend in Pensacola.
”We struggled early, but I definitely feel like we managed it better this year than I did last year.” Smith told the broadcast post-race. “More seat time, more track time paid off”
The race started out headlined by the rookie Young’s Motorsports driver Leland Honeyman grabbing the pole, but he would surrender the lead to Taylor Gray on lap 28.
Once the first race break hit, Honeyman had fallen back to fourth, behind Sammy Smith and Jake Finch.
It wasn’t until Lap 89 that Smith overtook Gray for the race lead, and he never looked back.
He did encounter a few challenges along the way, including Donald Theetge spinning right in front of him with 34 laps to go.
Restart after restart – shades of New Smyrna – the KBM driver was able to win tough battles against Gray, as he got another win in the ARCA Menards East Series.
Leland Honeyman was able to rebound from earlier in the race to a P2 finish, with Taylor Gray right behind him in third.
Daniel Escoto, making his season debut, finished in the fourth position for JW Motorsports. Escoto is scheduled to run the rest of the East season after missing the season opener.
Willie Mullins rounded out the top-five, notching a solid run for himself and his organization.
Finishing back in the eighth position was Jake Finch, who had a really solid night until a right front leak on the final run prevented them from notching a top-three run.
Two-for-two in 2022, Sammy Smith looks to continue his momentum in the series’ next race at Dover, which will come on April 29th.