0 – Number of drivers who have swept both the Snowball Derby and the Snowflake 100 in the same weekend. The closest to do it was Augie Grill in 2007 as he finished third in that years’ Snowflake before winning the Derby the next day. Chase Elliott won the Snowflake 100 and the Derby last year, but was disqualified from the Derby in post-race technical inspection.
3 – Number of times since 2006 the winner of the race did not pass post-race inspection. We don’t like to sensationalize the act of disqualification, but the rules are strict to the letter at Five Flags Speedway, especially for the Derby and the Snowflake. Speed51 and 51 TV will have their eye on what’s going on in the tech line all week long starting on Wednesday, December 3rd on, appropriately enough, Tech Day.
5 – The number of wins by Chase Elliott and Augie Grill in the Snowflake 100. Both drivers have combined for five wins in the race. Elliott is not entered in the race this year.
5 – The number of wins by Rich Bickle Jr., at the Snowball Derby. He holds the record for most Snowball Derby wins, as he has won five times in 11 starts. He holds a nice 0.454 batting average at the Pensacola half-mile oval.
7 – This year’s race will be run on December 7. Other historical Derbys run on that day include 1969 when Friday Hassler won the race, 1975 for Donnie Allison, 1980 and 1986 for Gary Balough, 1997 for Bobby Gill, 2003 for Charlie Bradberry and 2007 for Augie Grill.
12 – The number of top-five finishes Jody Ridley has collected over the years of the Snowball Derby. That’s the most of any driver all-time in the 46 Snowball Derbys held.
15 – The 15th Annual Snowball Showdown, the Snowball Derby of go-kart races, will be held on Thursday, December 4 at Fast Eddies Fun Center on 505 Michigan Avenue in Pensacola, Florida.
16.133 – Super Late Model track record held by Chase Elliott set at the Snowball Derby in 2013. Elliott was stripped of his victory, but his time was allowed as he cleared tech on Friday night.
16.303 – Pro Late Model track record held by Chase Elliott set last year in qualifying for the Allen Turner Snowflake 100.
34 – Different Winners of the 46 previous Snowball Derbys.
37 – The pre-set number of starting spots for both Late Model races.
100: Number of laps in the Snowflake 100 for the Pro Late Models on Saturday night before the Snowball Derby.
250: A total of 250 cars raced over the course of four days at the 46th Annual Snowball Derby. 141 of those cars were in the under car divisions that run Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
300: The Snowball Derby is 300-laps for the Super Late Models on Sunday afternoon.
752 – Most laps led in Snowball Derby history. The record is held by Eddie Mercer.
1953 – The year the track opened on Pine Forest Road in Pensacola.
Chasing Three: Erik Jones is looking for his third Snowball Derby win in a row. Only three other times has a driver had a chance at three-in-a-row. Rich Bickle had two shots. In 1992 he was 36th and in 2000 he never showed up for the race. More recently, Augie Grill wrecked out after 142 laps in 2009. Grill led 67 laps that day was looking to be a factor. Jones will chase history as no driver has even finished while going for the three-peat.
Second Before First: : Rich Bickle, Butch Miller, Jeff Purvis, Darrell Waltrip, Eddie Mercer, Rich Crawford and Jody Ridley all have something in common. They are all former Snowball Derby winners, but they also all had to finish second in the big race before they won it.
Looking to Finish: Augie Grill has only finished 33-percent of the laps he has run in the Snowball Derby during the last five years. Grill has made it past halfway once and last year didn’t make a lap before the rear end broke. In the last two events he’s logged a total of 38 laps.
Revenge: Chase Elliott heads back to Five Flags Speedway hoping to right what went wrong a year ago after a dominating performance. Elliott will seek that second Snowball Derby win that was his a year ago before the tech line.
First Time Winners: Not many drivers win the Derby in their first start. Wayne Niedecken, Sr., Friday Hassler, Dickie Davis, Gary St. Amant and Gary Balough all did it in their first starts. Erik Jones has now won the race in each of his first two starts. Jones will look to be three-for-three at the end of the weekend.
Can You Say 30?:If David Rogers takes the green flag in the Snowball Derby it will be his 30th start in the race, which is second only to Red Farmer. Rogers has been in the top-10 twice in the past three seasons, but he is still winless in the Snowball Derby.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com