Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola opened in the year 1953, and is a paved racing track measuring about half a mile. The racetrack is named after the city of Pensacola's nickname "City of Five Flags." The speedway provided many different classes to the Pensacola community and visitors from the month of March until the month of October, which is the track's regular season for racing. Among these classes offered by the Five Flags Speedway are the Bombers, Sportsman, Super Stocks, Pro Late Models, and Super Late Models classes. Races are typically held on a bi-weekly basis on Friday nights.
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The racetrack has also played host to several regional touring series. During the first year Five Flags Speedway was in operation it hosted a race as part of the Grand National, which today is known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Herb Thomas won the race with his "Fabulous Hudson Hornet." The speedway has also hosted races of other national racing tours. These tours include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series.
Five Flags Speedway also hosts several events throughout the year in addition to races. The speedway's signature event each year is its Snowball Derby. This even has been held every year in December since the year 1968. ESPN once stated that event is one of the country's leading late-model stock-car races and attracts many of the top racecar drivers. The track is known for being incredibly fast due to its highly banked turns and layout. The current record for the Snowball Derby is 16.120 seconds.
On May 31 of 1953, the Five Flags Speedway opened to racers. Several things had gone wrong, resulting in opening day being a terrifying, hectic, and educational experience. The paving of the track had been delayed due to bad weather, and dirt ended up being spread across the track in preparation of the speedway's first race. A fourteen-car pileup during the first lap was the result of the track's dusty conditions due to the dirt.
Just two weeks after opening day, Five Flags Speedway hosted the only race of the NASCAR Grand National. Fortunately, the paving of the track was finished by this time and there was no more dust. Lee Petty was set to win the race, however, when rain began to fall during the race, he fell behind due to his car not having windshield wipers. In the end, Herb Thomas was victorious when the race was called at lap 140 out of the originally scheduled two hundred laps.
One of the most popular promotions in the history of Five Flags Speedway was the long-distance race held in December known as the Snowball Derby. The track's first Snowball Derby featured a race of only one hundred laps. The race set the event up to be one of the most prestigious and successful events in country. Today, the event features a race consisting of three hundred laps. The Snowball Derby has been held on the first weekend of December for the past thirty-eight years.
7451 Pine Forest Road, Pensacola, Florida, Phone: 850-944-8400