The 50th Annual Snowball Derby is finally here, and for Christian Eckes, a chance at history is here as well. Eckes, the defending winner of the Snowball Derby, has a chance to add his name to a very elite list of drivers that have gone back-to-back at Five Flags Speedway.
“It would mean a lot to me to repeat as Snowball Derby champion,” said the 17-year-old Eckes from Greenville, New York. “Only three drivers have ever won the Snowball Derby in consecutive years.”
Eckes is also the youngest Snowball Derby champion, and with that comes some added pressure to show that the previous success is no fluke. At least, that’s what many would think. Eckes said that isn’t the case.
“It’s just another race in our eyes,” he said. “We’re going to come in just like last year and work to get our race car the best we can.”
One thing that last year’s win has given Eckes and his Fury Race Cars team is confidence. They know that they can get the job done in the biggest race of the year.
“Our confidence is pretty high, but we will take it one step at a time just like last year. I’m confident in my race team and car, but it’s the Snowball Derby and you just never know how it will go until the checkered falls.”
Eckes said that he and his team are bringing a brand new race car down to Pensacola, Florida, just like they did last year. He’s already tested it once, and he likes his chances with it.
“We tested with our new car a couple weeks ago at Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia like we did last year. I felt like it went really well and we’re ready to head down there.”
Eckes will begin his Snowball Derby title defense on Thursday, November 30th with practice day. Friday, December 1st is qualifying day at the Snowball Derby. Eckes and his team are locked into the Snowball Derby with a past champion’s provisional. Saturday, December 2nd is the last practice day before Sunday’s running of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby on December 3rd.
Race fans hoping to watch Eckes go for his second straight Snowball Derby victory can do so by purchasing the live stream on Speed51.com here.
For more on Christian Eckes, visit www.christianeckesracing.com, and be sure to follow him on Twitter, @ChristianEckes.