With half of October now behind us, the anticipation for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby continues to mount as race fans and race teams alike plan for the yearly pilgrimage to Five Flags Speedway. Naturally, the real planning begins with the first look at the nearly week-long schedule.
On that front there’s good news as we now present that first look at the schedule for the 2018 Snowball Derby.
As has been the case these last couple of years, Snowball Derby festivities will begin the Tuesday before race day in downtown Pensacola at Tracy Goodson’s Beef O’ Brady’s with the Snowball Derby Kickoff Party and live preview show on Speed51.com. The Kickoff Party will present fans with an opportunity to enjoy great food while having a chance to meet many of the drivers entered.
Wednesday, November 28 is when the attention shifts to Five Flags Speedway itself, starting with the epic morning that is Rig Parking, as the arrival of Late Model teams is once again announced by Dave Pavlock. After an afternoon reserved for pre-tech inspection for both Super and Pro Late Models, back by popular demand is the first race of the week with the Pure Stocks going green for 50 laps at 7 p.m. The day will be topped off with the Green Flag Party at which time the qualifying draw will take place for both the Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100.
Thursday, November 29 is the first day the Late Model teams get a chance to strut their stuff, with the long Thursday practice going from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., giving teams their first chance to shakedown and get their setups dialed in. The day concludes with two 50-lap features, one for the Sportsmen and one for the Outlaw Stocks, with the first green flag around 8 p.m.
On Friday, November 30 the month of November concludes with one of the tensest days in all of short track racing. Following another morning and afternoon of practice, Super Late Model drivers strap in for two of the most critical laps of the week during Snowball Derby Qualifying, which begins in earnest at 6 p.m. The night will conclude with a 75-lap Modified race, but new for this season, the feature will also serve as the 2018 season finale for the Modifieds of Mayhem Tour.
Saturday not only marks the first day of December, but also the final practice for both Super and Pro Late Model teams in the morning. In the afternoon, the spotlight shifts to the Pro teams for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100, first with qualifying at 2 p.m. Then there’s the Last Chance Races for both the Snowflake 100 and the Snowball Derby. At 7 p.m., it’s show time for the Pro Late Models and the Snowflake 100, as well as the Pro Trucks who will wrap the day after the Flake with their 50-lap feature.
Finally, it all comes down to the big day, Sunday, December 2, with the 51st running of the Snowball Derby for Super Late Models. The excitement starts building at noon as the cars are roll to their spots on the grid, while the crowd is given their first look at the drivers in the field with the class photo at 12:30 p.m. Driver introductions start off at 1:15 p.m. leading into the green flag for 300 laps of racing in the Snowball Derby.
Tickets are still available for purchase but are expected to sell out by the week of the event. More information can be found by visiting www.snowballderby.com or calling by the office at (850) 944-8400.
-Story by Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com