Saturday, February 27
Track: 5 Flags (Fla.) Speedway, half-mile paved oval
Race: 2 of 8
Event: Pensacola 200 Presented by INSPECTRA (200 laps, 100 miles)
Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance Fusion
- Gray earned the second starting position by virtue of his fastest lap time from practice. He led the opening seven laps before falling back to second and holding that position until a caution on lap 55.
- The No. 17 Ford Performance Fusion reassumed the lead on lap 69 and led the final six laps leading into the caution break at lap 75. The team opted for two tires and fuel during the caution period.
- Gray paced the field back to green and managed to lead until lap 116. He rode comfortably in second until the second scheduled caution break on lap 150. During this period, the team put on four fresh tires, topped off with fuel and made final adjustments for the final 50 laps.
- After restarting in second, the No. 17 was moved out of the preferred racing groove and fell to seventh during the opening three laps. Gray was able to advance up to fifth by lap 181 in which there was a caution. On the final restart, he picked up one additional position to finish third.
- 53 laps led marked a new season-high for the the Artesia, New Mexico driver.
Joey Iest, No. 54 ASN/Basila Ranch Ford Fusion
- Iest started the race from the sixth position and cycled to ninth before he could settle into the preferred bottom groove on the racing surface. When caution waved on lap 55, he was in eighth and relayed to crew chief Derek Smith that he needed more drive off the corner.
- The California native advanced two positions on the restart and finished the opening stint in sixth. During the lap 75 caution period, the team replaced right side tires and restarted sixth.
- Iest held steady in sixth for much of the second stint before advancing to fifth on lap 149 right before the second caution period on lap 150. The team replaced all four tires and topped off with fuel to gear up for the final run.
- Over the course of the final 50 laps, Iest drove the No. 54 as high as fourth and fell back as far as seventh, but after a caution on lap 181 he was able to slot into the fifth position and earn his second consecutive top-five finish for DGR.
Next event: Nashville 200 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee on May 8.