Five Flags Speedway

Pensacola, FL


Category Ex-Cup
Type Short Track
Configuration Oval
Length 0.5 Miles
Characteristics Turns Semi-banked
Frontstretch Banked 9 Length 520'
Backstretch Banked 9 Length 510'
Max Field 40
Track Record NA
NR2K3 Track Author Justin9

Five Glags Speedway

Snowball Derby?

Most of my comments here will pertain to the N2K game since a number of pages on the official track site appears to be "in work" (sic) and I can't really get the kind of information I need there. In fact there is no track diagram so I've drawn mine straight from the game. For that matter, the track details are from the game. So although I can't verify accuracy of the track I can give you what I've gathered. It is a real track but for some reason I keep thinking of it as a fictional. I think it's that Snowball Derby thing that throws me off. I see that the Snowball Derby is a December Race that has been run since the beginning of time. A winter fix for the hot-stove folks. Does if ever actually snow in Pensacola?

Oops! I see that a Nascar Grand National race was run here in 1953, the year that the track opened. Dammit, I missed that completely and now I have corrections that will need to be done on-site, in the Guide, in spreadsheets. Looks like Lee Petty couldn't make a charge in that one race because he didn't have windshield wipers. Reading the track history on the official site leads me to believe that they've had some interesting times here.

NR2K Notes:

Some tracks are fun right "out of the box"--this is one of them. It's got a setup that will run good laps even before you start tweaking. It's got good racing. I ran a Craftsman truck race and a Cup race here and had fun with both. I tried something a little different this time around (see the NR2K notes below).

This track posed a different sort of challenge to me. As you can see in the following chart there is not much difference between the top qualifier and the last qualifier. The AI start to differ a little more when the level is lowered. I guess one might say that it is a short track thing; you really wouldn't expect that much difference.

AI % 100 99 98 97 96 95
High Speed 104.046 103.597 103.312 102.887 102.145 102.226
Low Speed 102.279 102.006 101.672 100.942 100.056 100.111
Ave Speed 103.303 102.811 102.319 101.860 101.326 100.888
Median 103.253 102.802 102.314 101.865 101.281 100.807
Std Dev 0.68 0.75 0.80 0.92 0.98 1.08

My best at this track is 104.427 which beats the AI top speed at 100% but I knew if I raced at that level I would have to spend time with setup and testing. Else, I'd just be watching everyone pass me about midpoint through a fuel run. I ran 10 laps as a test without any extra effort just to see what it would look like:

LK 10 Laps
Average 101.694
Median 101.517
Best Lap 102.834
Worst Lap 100.570
Std Dev 0.73

The Decision

I went at 97%. Unexpectedly ran 104 in qualifying which easily took the pole. Led for about 16 laps, staying out front by anywhere from .6 to 1 second. All of a sudden Bill Elliot was underneath me while I was going towards the bottom. He turned me around and by the time I got straightened out I was in 6th place. I bumped around a little more and ended up in 7th. It's tough to pass here without an optimized setup--go low and you better have something you can jump into off the corner. Go high and lose grip in the marbles.

Erratum

I was just looking at the replay. I knew the contact was my fault but I had to take another look. I thought it was Elliot in the 99 car and saw instead that it was that punk Kurt Busch in the his old 97 Sharpies car (I run several versions of NR2K3 to accomodate extra tracks and different seasons). And I led for 11 laps, not 16. What else? Well, I never went all the way around so the save wasn't as great as I remembered. I also compared cockpit views to check driving styles and found that Busch wasn't dropping as many RPMs in the turns; he was able to keep more throttle beneath him.

Conclusion

There's really no excuse not to race at 100% here but I would really work on the setup. I have no idea how good you can get because I didn't work on this one much this time around (other than tire pressures and left side camber changes). I will be returning to this one to do some more work.

Radt's Say:

Does the pain never end? My reputation is being ruined by an owner who wants to pretend he's a driver. I run 100% always and I don't like it when other drivers ask "Hey Radt, ya doin' an 85-percenter this week?" As far as passing goes, it's all timing. LK drives too hard into the corner and can't make the run going off. If yer on the bumper going in yer gonna hafta slow too much for that pantywaist in front of ya, that's all I'm sayin. That pass by Busch? He (LK) was lollygagging, he was going "Look at me, I'm leading the race".

See Also:

Official Site

SpeedwayCreations  (NR2K3 Game Track Designer)