The final race before the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby proved to be a wild one with the Outlaws Saturday night. While 34 cars started the 50-lap feature event, just 14 would be around at the finish after over an hour and several yellow flags.
Meanwhile, Jay Jay Day completed a dominant effort by leading flag-to-flag and picking up the win to conclude a wild night of action at Five Flags Speedway.
The Mobile, Alabama driver showed the Snowball Derby isn’t just big for Super and Pro Late Model competitors. The event means just as much to local racers who call the Pensacola, Florida facility home year-round.
“I can’t believe it. Besides the birth of my two kids and marrying my wife, my best friend, this is the best moment of my life,” Day said on the Speed51.TV broadcast. “Snowball freaking Derby.”
While Day led all 50 laps in the race, it did not come without its share of close calls. He fought the likes of former track champions Bubba Winslow and Kody Brusso, South Alabama Speedway champion Cameron Henderson and defending race winner John Heil throughout the event, even losing the lead on a couple restart before he was bailed out by quick cautions.
Even while facing stiff challenges during the race, it would be a dominating effort at the end for Day, who started on the pole after setting fast time in qualifying.
“We were fast right off the trailer all day, this was the best race car I’ve ever sat in. The car was easy to drive, it got a little snug in the middle of the race and it got a little free at the end. But this is the Snowball Derby, I don’t care.”
Winslow proved to be Day’s biggest challenger during the race, even taking the lead from him on a restart before a yellow erased his pass for the lead. Even while battling Henderson for the runner-up spot in the final laps, he was catching Day for the lead. Unfortunately for him, the reigning Outlaw Stock champion would run out of laps.
“Restarts were probably the most important part and we were able to get by him on one and that caution came out. He had a really good car and I think clean air was a really valuable asset with how things handled,” Winslow said. “We were close, if we could’ve got around him we may have been able to hold him off.”
Henderson, Heil and Jason Welch rounded out the top-five.
The lineup has been set for the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby Sunday afternoon. The green flag is set to wave just after 1:00 p.m. CT after track officials moved the start time up to dodge potential weather.
Our live broadcast will begin at 12:00 p.m. CT with opening ceremonies. Click here to purchase your PPV ticket to watch the biggest Super Late Model race in the country.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo