Christopher Bell has had one heck of a 2015 season with wins coming in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the dirt at Eldora, and in a Super Late Model on the high-banks of Winchester Speedway in Indiana. There’s only one way to cap off this season, and that’s with a win in the 48th Annual Snowball Derby on December 6.
That’s what the Norman, Oklahoma native has his eyes on as he’s set to make his Snowball Derby debut this year driving the No. 51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
“It would be huge (to win) with it being only my first career start in the Snowball Derby,” said Bell. “To win would be really special. That would be a dream come true.”
Bell raced during Derby week in 2014, but he ran the Pro Late Model for KBM in the Snowflake 100. Bell started 14th in that race and raced his way up to sixth in an event that was mostly caution-free.
Bell now believes he will see more success at Five Flags this year in the Derby for a couple of reasons. For one, he’s already been to the race track before, but also because he’ll be in the higher-powered Super Late Model this year.
“I think it’s going to play more of an advantage to me because of my background,” he said. “The Crate cars didn’t really fit my driving style as much as the high-horsepower cars do.”
Bell comes from the dirt racing world of Sprint Cars and Midgets, both of which are cars that have an extremely high power-to-weight ratio. He’s excelled in that realm of racing, and he’s starting to do the same on the asphalt side.
The 21-year-old driver had a great chance to win another prestigious race earlier this month when he had arguably the fastest car in the Winchester 400. However, his chances came to an end when he hit the wall while trying to make the pass for the win late in the going.
“At Winchester all I asked for was to be there at the end and have a shot at it and we did,” said Bell. “Unfortunately I made a little mistake and
gave it away. Hopefully I’ll have a second chance at the Snowball.”
But Bell said his strong run for much of that race has given him plenty of confidence heading into the Derby, even with the way Winchester ended.
“That should give us some confidence going into the Snowball Derby because the Winchester 400 is such a prestigious event and we definitely had the best car at that race,” he said. “I thought we had a really good shot at that race. As long as we keep getting shots at these races then that’s all you can ask for.”
As confident as he is, Bell is still nervous about one aspect of the weekend, and that’s qualifying during WXBM 102.7 Pole Night on Friday, December 4.
“I’m expecting qualifying to be the most intense part of the weekend,” Bell said. “I just remember last year watching practice times that when everyone went out for qualifying they all picked up a lot so that’s going to be very stressful for me.”
As long as Bell makes the race he believes he has a chance to win and take home the Tom Dawson trophy, one of the trophies he most wants in racing.
“I have a special place in my heart for a Golden Driller (the Chili Bowl trophy) that hopefully will come pretty quick,” Bell said. “But the Tom Dawson trophy would be right up there with it, that’s for sure.”
The 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend kicks off with the Cat Country/WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Party on Wednesday, December 2. On-track activities start Thursday, December 3, for the opening practice rounds for the Snowball Derby Super Late Models and Snowflake 100 Pro Late Models. The Five Flags Butler U-Pull-It Bombers and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Sportsman divisions will also have feature events on Snowball Derby Thursday.
The top Snowball Derby starting spots will be set on Friday, December 4 during WXBM 102.7 Pole Night at Five Flags. The Five Flags Faith Chapel Super Stocks and Modifieds will also battle in their Snowball Derby features after Super Late Model qualifying.
The Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 takes center stage on Saturday, December 5 as the top Pro Late Model racers in the country qualify and battle for 100 laps at Five Flags. In addition, Saturday’s action features the final 50-lap qualifying event for Snowball Derby drivers to make one last effort to qualify for the 300-lap Super Late Model race. The Better Built Tool Box Pro Trucks will also have a 50-lap feature on Snowball Derby Saturday.
Then on Sunday, December 6, the green flag will drop on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby at 2 p.m. CT at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
For more information on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway, visit www.snowballderby.com. All media credential requests and inquiries for the Snowball Derby can be sent to Matt Kentfield at [email protected] and/or Pat Bryant at [email protected]
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-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com