|ALL PHOTOS: David PeQueen, @CarSDS2078|
by Ben Schneider
LASTCAR.info Staff Writer
Nate Moeller finished last for the 2nd time in his ARCA Menards Series East career in Saturday’s Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway when his No. 06 River’s Edge Cottages & RV Park Toyota fell out with brake issues after completing 3 of 200 laps.
The finish came in Moeller’s 3rd career ARCA East start.
Moeller’s first last-place finish came almost exactly one year ago at the same track. In his East Series debut, Moeller had his Wayne Peterson Racing No. 06 car renumbered to a Fast Track Racing No. 10 entry as part of a gentlemen’s agreement between Peterson and Fast Track Racing owner Andy Hillenburg. Moeller then ran two laps in the race - one fewer than he completed Saturday - before start-and-parking the car. Across both the East Series and the national tour, Moeller has made a total of six career ARCA starts.
|Dale Shearer's car pulls off the track before the start.|
Shearer and Goulet were classified 14th and 15th respectively, though Moeller will be credited with the last-place finish as the first car to retire from the race after taking the green flag. Goulet’s qualifying speed would have placed her 13th on the grid just ahead of Moeller, whose fastest lap time was 21.463 seconds.
|Rita Goulet's #31 towed to the garage from the grid.|
After being promoted to 13th on the grid, Moeller became the first retirement from the race after completing 3 laps. Overheating issues ended the night for Fast Track Racing teammates Dallas Frueh and Tim Monroe, who exited after running 22 and 37 laps respectively. Ed Pompa followed up the order 13 laps down in 10th place in another Fast Track entry, while R.J. Smotherman’s No. 46 Lowden Jackson Motorsports car rounded out the Bottom Five by completing 193 of 200 laps.
At the front of the field, William Sawalich enjoyed a perfect evening as the 16-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing development driver took pole position, led every lap, and won the race. Following Sawalich in 2nd was Luke Fenhaus, the 2021 Slinger Nationals winner who finished 2nd in an SRX race at Slinger the same year. Jake Finch, the son of Phoenix Racing owner James Finch, completed the podium with a 3rd-place finish for Venturini Motorsports.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
13) #06-Nate Moeller / 3 laps / brakes
12) #01-Dallas Frueh / 22 laps / overheating
11) #12-Tim Monroe / 37 laps / overheating
10) #10-Ed Pompa / 187 laps / running
9) #46-R.J. Smotherman / 193 laps / running
2023 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (1)
2023 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST OWNERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Wayne Peterson Racing (1)
2023 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP