For once we are not going to look at the top half of the points for the upcoming Blizzard Series race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Sure, the overall champion gets an automatic starting spot in the Snowball Derby each year.
However, some of the best racing often gets missed deeper in the pack regarding finishing in the top 10 in the final standings. That provisional can roll over if the champion or next in line is able to lock into the Snowball Derby on time on pole night. So points are of the upmost importance.
Points are so important that after two shows in the Blizzard Series we look at the standings and wonder how is it all going to shake out. From fifth to 15th the separation is 20 points among all the drivers. All the drivers but one have scored 10 top finishes this year and now they are left to wonder what is it going to take to lock in to the Snowball Derby.
Of the top 15 in points there are six drivers who have never had the pleasure of hearing their name called on stage during the Snowball pre-race activites on Derby Sunday.
Drivers like Carter Stokes, Dustin Smith, Jessie Dutilly, Kyle Bryant, Joe Aramendia, and Corey Hiem lead a list of drivers who are racing for potential provisional spots at the 51st Annual Snowball Derby.
Bryant has tried serval times and missed and locking in on points could be a sure way to add his name to the record books.
In the mix too are some crafty veterans. Casey Smith has 12 prior Derby starts and he’s led the race several times and was third in 2003. He hopes that points could be a fall back if he’s not fast enough in December.
Ageless David Rogers is 15th in points and seeks to make perhaps one of the most historic Snowball Derby starts of all-time. Rogers would break the record for most starts with his 33rd if he makes the show come December. The provisional could be a fall back as he’s made the race some 13 times on speed in the last 25 odd years.
The beauty of the racing for points under this structure is the unaware cutline. There have been years where Blizzard drivers high in points take the spots thus washing out hopes of other drivers. One season Allen Karnes sat out the Derby and he would have made the show for the first time in his career. You just have no idea how the chips will fall.
A second provisional spot is available for the Southern Super Series champion and then the top 10 in points. If those needs are met then it could become a second Blizzard Series provisional.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com