For the past 48 years, the Snowball Derby has been one of the most prestigious short track late model events in the country. Every December, drivers from all over the country make their way to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fl, in hopes to add their name to historic winners list.
Caleb Adrian of Walcott, IA, will be making his way south to join the long list of drivers attempting to make it into the 2015 48th Annual Snowball Derby. Adrian is no stranger to the track. The Adrian Carriers/Liz Girl Logistics team out of Milan, Ill, has fielded a car for the event for the past 4 years.
“The Snowball Derby is so special to my family and I. My parents, Gary and Liz, want to have that trophy so bad. I would love to be the guy who gets it for them. I couldn’t be living out my dream if it weren’t for my parents and all they do for me and this team.”
While Adrian, himself, has yet to compete in the Snowball Derby, he has raced at the track a few times over the past year, and it has quickly become one of his favorites.
“I like Pensacola because it’s a high-banked fast track. You’re not out of the gas that much. I like momentum tracks, they always seem to fit my driving style,” said the 18-year-old.
Earlier this season, Caleb captured his first weekly late model win and went on to add two more Friday night victories at his home track of Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
On June 5th, Adrian won the biggest event of his young career when the Big 8 Series came to Hawkeye Downs. He proved that he wasn’t just a weekly warrior, by beating the best-of-the-best in the series.
Since that time, Adrian has raced at several tracks around the Midwest in various types of events. He made his ARCA Midwest Tour debut at Hawkeye Downs in September, and finished an impressive fifth. He followed that up with a top 10 in the ARCA Midwest Tour Oktoberfest 200.
Caleb sees each race as an opportunity to improve and that every experience has helped prepare him for the upcoming Snowball Derby.
“Every race is a learning experience. Racing with the ARCA Midwest Tour has probably prepared me the most because they are so competitive. It improves me as a driver and makes us a better team, he said. “Also, qualifying at all those events has helped prepare me as well. The more you qualify, the better you will be, and for the Derby, you need to have a perfect lap or you won’t make the race.”
The fastest thirty cars in qualifying will be locked into the 300 lap race. Nearly 50 cars have already entered and the list continues to grow. Drivers will have to be at the top of their game in order to qualify into the event.
“The competition is extremely high for Snowball. The top 30 cars will be separated by about two-tenths in qualifying. The top 20 cars have a good shot at winning. It’s scary to think about how many good guys will be there, like, Bubba Pollard, Chase Elliot, Christopher Bell, and so many more. It will be a great learning experience for me,” said Adrian.
Over the past four years, Caleb has learned a lot just by watching. That, combined with all of the racing he’s done this season, makes him feel pretty confident going in.
“I have learned that if you’re still running at the end, you will have a chance at winning. The biggest key is to stay out of trouble and keep all four fenders on. If you can do that, you’ll be in good shape at the end of the race. We’ve had a pretty successful year, and I want to keep that going,” concluded Adrian.
-Kari Shear-Carlson Press Release. Photo Credit: Liz Adrian