|PHOTO: Nate Moeller, shared by Spencer Gogol, @spencergogol|
by Ben Schneider
LASTCAR.info Guest Contributor
Nate Moeller finished last for the first time in his ARCA Menards Series East career in Saturday’s Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway when his #10 Fast Track Racing Ford fell out with clutch issues after completing 2 of 200 laps.
The finish came in Moeller’s East Series debut.
While Moeller always intended on making his first career start on Saturday night, he was originally entered in Wayne Peterson’s No. 06 GreatRailing.com Ford. In practice, however, veteran driver Benny Chastain suffered a hard crash in his No. 10 car owned by Andy Hillenburg. While Chastain was okay, his car was not, and the team found themselves without a backup car for the race. In a gentleman’s agreement, the Peterson team withdrew their entry, and Moeller’s No. 06 car was renumbered to the No. 10 to allow Hillenburg’s team to continue to score points in the series’ Owners’ Championship. Moeller replaced Chastain as the driver of the No. 10 entry, completing two laps before parking the car.
As was the case at New Smyrna, ARCA veteran Brad Smith was the second retirement from the race as he suffered brake issues after running 24 laps. Two more Fast Track Racing entries, Tim Monroe and Stephanie Moyer, followed up the order in thirteenth and twelfth respectively. Rounding out the Bottom Five was Steve Austin in an entry fielded by ARCA Daytona last-place finisher Eric Caudell, who crashed on the frontstretch at the midway point of the race.
Up front, defending series champion Sammy Smith scored his fifth career East Series win after leading 107 of 200 laps. Smith also won the season-opener at New Smyrna and is now 2-for-2 in ARCA East races this season.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
15) #10-Nate Moeller / 2 laps / clutch
14) #48-Brad Smith / 24 laps / brakes
13) #12-Tim Monroe / 46 laps / handling
12) #01-Stephanie Moyer / 60 laps / transmission
11) #22-Steve Austin / 92 laps / crash
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (2)
2nd) Toyota (0)
3rd) Chevrolet (0)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: While Racing-Reference currently lists Moeller’s No. 10 car as a Toyota, photos from the track indicate it was a Ford, as was the original No. 06 entry from Wayne Peterson Racing.)
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST OWNERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Wayne Peterson Racing (1), Fast Track Racing (1)
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP