Special from ARCA Racing – More than two months have passed since Sammy Smith cruised to victory at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, to take the lead in ARCA Menards Series East points after two races in 2021.
Every East Series driver not named Smith has been waiting that long to arrive in Nashville, Tennessee, for Saturday’s Crosley Record Pressing 200 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (9:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass). It’s an opportunity.
This race, the third of eight in the series this season, likely will separate those who can challenge Smith and others for the championship and those who cannot.
Saturday night’s pivotal race marks the first time the East Series has raced at the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in more than a decade. Titled the NASCAR Busch Series East in 2007 and the NASCAR Camping World East Series in 2008, what’s now the ARCA Menards Series East held races at Fairgrounds Speedway in those years and in those years only.
So the Crosley Record Pressing 200 is guaranteed to produce a first-time Nashville winner; nobody on the entry list for Saturday night’s race competed in either of the two prior East Series races at the 0.596-mile paved oval.
Fans are able to attend Saturday night’s race at Nashville (tickets), and the race can be viewed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Crosley Record Pressing 200
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Smith again is entered in the No. 18 Engine Ice Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, the car current ARCA Menards Series driver Ty Gibbs drove to five top-five finishes in six East Series races last season.
Based on the results of the first two races this year, Smith will be the driver to beat at Nashville.
Smith, 16, has led a series-high 223 laps through two races this season — 78 of 187 at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and 145 of 200 at 5 Flags. He likely would have won both races had Max Gutiérrez not stolen the victory on the last corner of the race at New Smyrna.
The driver who ranks second in East points and laps led (96), Taylor Gray, is not entered in Saturday night’s race at Nashville as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a street car accident.
All are within 20 points of the leader Smith in the championship standings, and all are entered at Nashville looking for chances to close the gap.
The complete entry list for Saturday’s Crosley Record Pressing 200 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway can be viewed here.
The ARCA Menards Series East race is the second leg of a doubleheader Saturday evening at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The North/South Super Late Model Challenge will race at 5 p.m. CT in a combination event with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.
Pre-race ceremonies for the Crosley Record Pressing 200 are scheduled to start at 8 p.m. CT.
|Crosley Record Pressing 200
|Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee
|Saturday, May 8, 2021
|8:30 p.m. CT / 9:30 p.m. ET
|TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold
|0.596-mile paved oval
|Saturday, May 8: Garage opens at 10:30 a.m.; Practice at 1:30 p.m.; Qualifying at 4:15 p.m.; Race at 8:30 p.m. (All times CT)
|@ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots, @RaceFairgrounds, @_TrackPass
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Crosley Record Pressing 200 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is limited to 24 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.
QUALIFYING: Two consecutive laps qualifying (single car). No adjustments or repairs may be made on the car after taking green flag at start/finish line. All cars must make a qualifying attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify.
RACE PIT STOP: Break pitting procedure. There will be breaks at or near the conclusion of Laps 75 and 150. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box after the race has started.
The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, and an additional 10 tires for qualifying and race. Per ARCA Rulebook, maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is six (6).