Jack Dossey III’s maiden Snowball Derby attempt one year ago was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Indianapolis driver. One year later, the two-time JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion will return to Pensacola, Florida for his second attempt at America’s most prestigious Super Late Model race.
Dossey’s qualifying run one year ago landed him 46th out of the 47 cars that were on the property, relegating him deep in the field for the 50-lap last chance race. After rain postponed Saturday’s activities, Dossey drove through the field in Sunday’s last chance race to finish fourth and become the final driver to earn his spot in the starting field for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby.
After starting near the rear of the field, Dossey maneuvered his way to a 17th-place finish in his Snowball Derby debut.
“It wasn’t the ideal situation, that’s for sure,” Dossey told Speed51.com of his Snowball Derby experience last year. “We didn’t get the ideal pick for qualifying at all. We rolled off second and it was kind of a misty rain, the track was kind of damp and it was real cold. We knew we weren’t going to have the best qualifying attempt and we knew we had some setup issues with the car and it ended up being a combined tragedy of events for our qualifying effort and I think we ended up like second or third from last. Hopefully we can improve that and get in on time this year. It was a really cool story but hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”
This year, the Snowball Derby won’t be the first time Dossey sees the half-mile oval in 2019, having ran the second Blizzard Series race back in June to help prepare for a run at the Tom Dawson Trophy in just over two weeks.
“We’re pretty excited to get back down there and see what we can do,” he said. “Last year, we had a pretty good run in the race. We didn’t qualify in on time, we had to race our way in. I’d like to qualify in this time and give it a little bit of a stronger effort. Five Flags is a great facility and the Snowball Derby is a lot of fun. It’s the most fun you can have with the best in the country. We’ve been preparing all year to get back down there so I’m excited to see what we can do.”
The 2019 season has seen various changes to the race team. After having two-time ASA champion Gary St. Amant as Crew Chief for several years, Dossey put the crew chief duties on himself and would later enlist the help of Terry Senneker at the track.
The season also saw him step outside of CRA and the Midwest for select races. Along with the second Blizzard Series race, he also made the trip to South Alabama Speedway in March for the Rattler 250. He earned top-ten finishes in both races, as well as a third-place run in the Baby Rattler with a Pro Late Model.
While also venturing out, Dossey made himself into one of the drivers to beat back home. He earned his first Super Late Model win at Anderson Speedway back in April with the ARCA/CRA Super Series on his way to a fourth-place points result and the Rookie of the Year crown, also scoring a second-place run in the Redbud 400 and a top-five finish in the Speed51 Super Select.
With 2019 having been his strongest year yet, it leaves him ready for the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby.
“It gives me a good amount of confidence going in knowing we’ve got a little bit of a different program going down there,” he said. “It’s the best of the best in the world and anything can happen and we’re just hoping to go down there and have fun for a week in Florida, run as competitive as we can with the best in the country, best in the world you could say, there’s people coming from all over. We just want to go down and give a good run and support the Hoosier State from back home.”
Although the rollercoaster ride provided plenty of excitement last year, Dossey is hoping to avoid all of that and just to put the No. 20 into the show on Friday night.
“You can’t take anything for granted, it’s the toughest field in the world to try to qualify into,” he stated. “It wouldn’t be too big of a surprise or a too terrible of a thing if we qualified in the bottom half again, I just hope we make it into the show this time.”
The best Super Late Model racers in the country will take the green flag at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, December 8 for 300 laps of racing in the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby. Speed51 will have race fans covered with flag-to-flag coverage until the Tom Dawson Trophy is delivered to the winner in victory lane.
Individual video tickets are available for each day of racing; however, a four-day early bird video ticket offers a total savings of $38. To order your early bird Snowball Derby four-day video package today, click here and use discount code “snowbird.”
Individual video tickets can be purchased now at the regular price by clicking here.
For more information on the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby, visit Speed51’s Snowball Central.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com