The Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway is the most prestigious event in pavement Super Late Model racing, entering its 52nd running in 2019. It is also one of the great fan gatherings in racing, as fans flock to Pensacola, Florida throughout the week to enjoy all of the great racing at the half-mile oval.
Since 2017, those fans have been able to enjoy a fan zone area behind the main grandstands on the frontstretch. That area will be back, bigger and better in 2019, thanks to the support of BJ’s Wholesale Club. This past summer, the retailer announced plans to open a Pensacola location in early 2020.
“We’re excited to bring the value and convenience of a BJ’s membership to the Pensacola community,” said Kirk Saville, senior vice president, corporate communications, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “We’re proud to support the communities in which we live and work, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with Five Flags Speedway to bring the BJ’s Wholesale Club Fan Zone to this year’s Snowball Derby.”
Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., BJ's is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 218 clubs and 144 BJ's Gas® locations in 17 states. To learn more about BJ’s and to join the club, visit BJs.com/Pensacola or the local BJ’s Wholesale Club Membership Center located at 7000 N Davis Hwy in Pensacola.
Throughout the week, a variety of programming and entertainment will be available in the BJ’s Wholesale Club Fan Zone on the midway. On-track action from Five Flags Speedway and other sporting events such as the highly-anticipated SEC college football championship game will be displayed on a giant video screen in the fan zone.
BJ’s will also present Tuesday night’s Speed51.com Kickoff Party at Beef O Brady’s on Nine Mile Rd. in Pensacola.
The 52nd Annual Snowball Derby will be held December 4-8, featuring the best Late Model racers in North America. Current NASCAR stars such as Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott, along with legends such as Darrell Waltrip, Donnie Allison, and many more of the greatest racers in short track racing history, have left their mark in Snowball lore by winning the prestigious event.
Racing begins on Thursday, December 5, with the WCIParts.com Pro Trucks, the Dock of Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks competing in their Snowball Derby feature events after the first rounds of practice for Super Late Model and Pro Late Model teams.
Friday, December 6 presents one of the most dramatic and intense days in short track racing, with Snowball Derby teams competing for a spot in Sunday’s race on Country Pleasin’ Sausage Pole Night. The Modifieds of Mayhem Tour 75-lap season finale follows qualifying.
Saturday is an action-packed day of racing, featuring the Snowball Derby last chance race, the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 for Pro Late Models and a 50-lap feature for the Faith Chapel Outlaws.
Finally, Sunday, December 8 brings the most prestigious event in Super Late Model racing, the Snowball Derby. Pre-race festivities begin at noon, with driver introductions at 1:15 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., the Snowball Derby begins, starting the 300-lap battle to see who will join the record books as a winner of the marquee event.
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.5flagsspeedway.com or by calling the track office at (850) 944-8400.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51photos.com