Cassius Clark and Jake Crum are the latest Super Late Model drivers to file entries for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. Both drivers recently filed entries and declared their plans to compete in Pensacola, Florida this weekend.
Clark of Farmington, Maine enters the race for the third straight year with the No. 13 King Racing team based out of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Recently, Clark made headlines when his King Racing team was stuck at the border for over 72 hours while trying to enter the United States of America and make their way to Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) for the PASS Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown. His team arrived at the race track just in time for the last chance race and started shotgun on the field.
With no practice, Clark turned heads by driving into the top five prior to the first round of pit stops. Unfortunately, a flat tire forced him to pit road under green flag conditions and he was never able to make up the multiple laps he lost in the pits.
Following the race, Clark and his team decided to continue south to the Florida Gulf Coast and make what was previously an unplanned stop at the 50th Annual Snowball Derby.
"We were kind of looking for some tire money there after Hickory. We had a good car but it didn't pan out, so we didn't make much money there. A guy stepped up that I used to drive for, Randy Wilson, bought us some tires and Rollie decided he wanted to give it another whirl. So here we are," Clark said.
Clark has made four previous attempts at the Snowball Derby with a career best finish of 15th in 2006. Clark finished 16th after a strong run in 2015 but failed to qualify for the race one year ago.
"We had a bent clip last year. It was the same car we had there the year before and it kept getting worse and worse all year," Clark said of last year's struggles. "(Car Owner) Rollie (MacDonald) raced it one of the last races there and got run into by somebody under yellow. We had to fix it right before we got down here and I could just feel the cross member flexing on it every practice. It just kept getting worse and worse, so we just loaded it up and didn't even try to race the last chance race. No speed at all. They clipped it and we went and tested Hickory with it. Andrew put it back together and it was the best car I've ever had at Hickory. It's been good all year long, so it's a different animal than we had last year."
Although the team's original plans were to test at Motor Mile Speedway (VA), a testing opportunity opened up at Five Flags for Monday afternoon and the King Racing team took advantage of it.
"It's pretty good, really," Clark said prior to the sun setting at Five Flags. "There are some good cars here today and we're right here with them. We're maybe a half-tenths off the fastest guy and in the ball park. We'll keep tuning on it and see where we end up for Friday night."
While Clark has previous experience at the Snowball Derby, Crum enters the race for the first time in his career. The Statesville, North Carolina driver is a former Martinsville 300 winner in the Late Model Stock Car ranks and won the pole award for the prestigious race at the paperclip in October.
Although Crum doesn't have a load of Super Late Model experience compared to many of his competitors, he turned in a strong run earlier this year during the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN). Driving for Donnir Wilson Racing, Crum piloted his No. 01 to a runner-up finish behind Bubba Wallace.
The addition of both drivers brings the current Snowball Derby entry list to a total of 69 drivers and makes the task of qualifying into the race even more difficult. A full entry list can be found by visiting Schaeffer's Snowball Central on Speed51.com.
Race fans unable to make it to Pensacola for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will be able to watch a live, television-style broadcast on Speed51.com. Click here to order your video tickets today.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com