The Snowball Derby is the biggest race of the year for Super Late Model teams across North America. It is also the biggest race for those who help out teams by providing parts and services throughout the season. That is the case for Brannon Earnest and Earnest Performance heading into the 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby presented by BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Earnest Performance offers a full-service in-house shock program including everything from sales and service to at-track consulting. The work has already begun for Earnest Performance owner Brannon Earnest.
“We’ve been down here for a few days already, testing and helping customers get ready,” Earnest told Speed51. “Now we’re just waiting on the actual event to get here. It’s exciting, for sure. It’s the biggest race of the year. Everybody is pumped up and ready to go. It’s exciting to see.”
Just like for the drivers, the Snowball Derby is the biggest race of the season for industry leaders like Earnest.
Earnest Performance has added to that with the First Man Out award, offering $500 to the fastest driver on Country Pleasin’ Sausage Pole Night at Five Flags Speedway who misses out on the feature field.
From the pressure of making the field to competing for the Tom Dawson Trophy, the weekend is a tense and action-packed one.
“It’s everything. Your entire year you work towards the Derby,” Earnest said. “We know there are other people who are very good at what they do and we have a ton of respect for the other competitors. Coming down to the Derby, we go with the intent of taking all the top spots and do everything we can to do that.”
While there is a lot of business involved at the Snowball Derby, it is also a fun weekend for the fan at heart of everyone involved in the sport. Earnest enjoys bringing fans to the Derby for the first time and seeing how much they enjoy the experience.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people into coming here for their first time to watch as a spectator. They have all enjoyed it. There’s nothing else in the world like it. That Friday night qualifying is the most intense day of the year. Then obviously the race, just to watch how it all unfolds and plays out. You don’t know until the very end what’s going to happen.”
Be sure to get your reserved tickets for the 52nd Snowball Derby by visiting www.5flagsspeedway.com or by calling the Five Flags Speedway office at 850-944-8400.
The 52nd Annual Snowball Derby begins on Thursday, December 5, with the WCIParts.com Pro Trucks, the Dock of Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks competing in their feature events after the first rounds of practice for Super Late Model and Pro Late Model teams.
Friday, December 6 presents one of the most dramatic and intense days in short track racing, with Snowball Derby teams competing for a spot in Sunday’s race on Country Pleasin’ Sausage Pole Night. The Modifieds of Mayhem Tour 75-lap season finale follows qualifying.
Saturday is an action-packed day of racing, featuring the Snowball Derby last chance race, the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 for Pro Late Models and a 50-lap feature for the Faith Chapel Outlaws.
Finally, Sunday, December 8 brings the most prestigious event in Super Late Model racing, the Snowball Derby. Pre-race festivities begin at noon, with driver introductions at 1:15 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., the Snowball Derby begins, starting the 300-lap battle to see who will join the record books as a winner of the marquee event.
For fans unable to make the trip, they can tune in to Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast of the event. 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.
For more information about Earnest Performance, visit www.earnestperformance.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo