Fans attending the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL) will have plenty of action to keep an eye on, both on the track and on pit road on Sunday, December 3.
After making the decision to go to a controlled cautions format one year ago as a result of the two-day postponement of the race due to weather, the traditional live pit stop format will return to the race in 2017.
“We’re utilizing the same race format for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby for which the first 48 versions of the race were run under,” said Five Flags Speedway Promoter Tim Bryant. “The controlled pit stops format that was used in the 2016 race, somewhat out of necessity given the turn of events related to the weather, certainly has a place in today’s short track racing scene. That format is certainly worthy of consideration in the future. However, for this year’s golden anniversary our racers and teams will be sticking to the traditional format that has helped make this race so special.”
As Bryant eluded to, the Snowball Derby has featured live pit stops in 48 of the 49 previously contested versions of the prestigious Late Model race. It is only right that the tradition continues for the most highly-anticipated running of the race.
By utilizing the live pit stop format, fans will want to keep their eyes glued to pit road to witness any possible changes in position. The live pit stop format will also encourage the use of different strategies as teams will need to decide what to do and when to do it on pit road.
In addition to putting drivers to the test, the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will need to be a complete team effort – from driver to crew chief to tire changers – for those hoping to visit victory lane and win the Tom Dawson Trophy.
A full list of race procedures for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags can be viewed on the track’s website by clicking here.
The 50th Annual Snowball Derby will kick off on Wednesday, November 29 with racing for the first time in event history on a Wednesday night. The Pure Stock division will be in action for a 50-lap feature prior to the annual Green Flag Pit Party and all-important qualifying draw for Late Model drivers.
Late Models will hit the track for the first time on Thursday, November 30 prior to 50-lap features for the Sportsman and Outlaw Stock divisions later that night.
Friday, December 1 is the most intense day in all of short track racing. It’s qualifying day for the Snowball Derby. Also on Friday night, the Modifieds will get their spotlight as they do battle for 75 laps to crown their Snowball Derby champion.
Saturday, December 2 is Allen Turner Snowflake 100 race day. Qualifying for the Snowflake 100 will begin at 2 p.m. CT. A 50-lap last chance race for the Snowflake 100 will immediately follow qualifying. The 50-lap last chance race for the Snowball Derby will also be held on Saturday evening at the conclusion of the last chance race for the Snowflake 100.
The green flag for the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 will wave at 7 p.m. Also on Saturday night, the Pro Trucks will race for 50 laps to decide who takes their Snowball Derby victory.
Sunday, December 3 is the biggest day of the year in short track racing. It’s race day for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. Pre-race festivities will begin at Noon CT. The class photo for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will be taken on the frontstretch at 12:30. Driver introductions will follow at 1:15 p.m. The green flag for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will wave at 2 p.m.
More information on the 50th Annual Snowball Derby can be found by visiting www.snowballderby.com and www.5flagsspeedway.com.
-51 Sports / Snowball Derby Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Bruce Nuttleman