With two races in the books already this season, the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco is ready to crank up the speed once again this weekend at Five Flags Speedway (FL). The top Super Late Model drivers from the Deep South and beyond will make their way to Pensacola, Florida this weekend for the first of four races at the track this season.
The list of pre-race entries and expected entries for the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series opener is shaping up to be a great collection of racing talent that will impress those in attendance this Friday night.
Current points leader Donnie Wilson leads the charge into Pensacola, looking for his first career Southern Super Series win at Five Flags. The Oklahoma driver is coming off a dominating effort earlier this month in the North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in Tennessee. Wilson took the Music City by storm, first winning the 50-lap Southern Super Series points-counting race before coming back the next night to win the 75-lap North/South Super Late Model Challenge against stars from both the Southern Super Series and ARCA/CRA Super Series.
Another welcome sight on the entry list is that of Austin, Texas driver Casey Smith. The defending Southern Super Series champion did not make the trip to Nashville after competing in the Rattler 250, but will return to the series Friday night. Smith, who won twice on his way to securing the 2015 series title, is also looking for his first career Southern Super Series win at Five Flags Speedway.
The State of Georgia will have some stout representation Friday with defending Blizzard Series champion Casey Roderick set to make his first Southern Super Series start of 2016. Roderick won the second of the four SSS races contended at Five Flags during 2015 on his way to winning the four-race series at the Pensacola oval.
Bubba Pollard might also hail from the state of Georgia, but the 2014 SSS champion has made Five Flags his second home over the years. The native of Senoia, Georgia has collected a vast amount of victories at the track over the years, five coming in the SSS, including last September’s season finale. Pollard is also a winner of the prestigious Snowflake 100 in 2014.
Kyle Grissom, last year’s April winner at Five Flags, will also be joining the stout field and making his second SSS start of 2016. Florida racing legend David Rogers, Snowball Derby runner-up Zane Smith and Indiana native Quinnton Bear will all be making the trip to Five Flags as well.
One of the drivers traveling the furthest to compete in the race will be Travis Sauter, who will be traveling from Wisconsin to race the Jett Motorsports Super Late Model.
Late Model veteran Chris Davidson, who currently sits sixth in the SSS points standings, will be on hand searching for his first win of 2016 after a consistent start to the season.
One of the bigger story lines for fans to watch throughout Friday’s event will be each team’s race management. The race will be 125 laps in distance, slightly longer than the normal 100 laps teams are accustomed to during regular season events at Five Flags. The longer distance, coupled with the race being just a four-tire race with no breaks, will force teams to have an increased focus on hitting the perfect setup.
Racing is scheduled to begin Friday night at 8 p.m. CT at Five Flags Speedway. Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. and the front gates open at 4 p.m. Qualifying for the Super Late Models begins at 7 p.m. Adult admission is just $15. Seniors, students and military can watch the racing for $12. Admission for kids 6-11 is just $5 and kids under 6 can enjoy the races for free.
More information on the event including a full race day schedule can be found by visiting www.5flagsspeedway.com.
For more information on the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco, visit www.southernsuperseries.com.
-51 Sports/Southern Super Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman