Jesse Dutilly closed out the 2019 Deep South Crane Blizzard Series season by winning the final Super Late Model regular season event at Five Flags Speedway (FL). The Florida racer started his 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby by posting the fastest lap of the opening practice.
Dutilly made his first appearance in the Derby last year, and is off to a strong start in his sophomore showing.
“We unloaded with a lot of speed,” Dutilly told Speed51. “That’s good to get out of the gate. I was on used tires, so I’m real happy with the car. We still have a couple of things we want to work on with the car to make it a little bit better.”
Jeremy Doss was another driver who unloaded with early speed, placing third on the charts with a fastest lap of 16.609 seconds in his return to Super Late Model racing.
That speed had Doss in a very good mood after the opening round of practice.
“I’m loving it. The car is pretty good right off the bat. It’s a good start to the weekend. Hopefully we can keep up with the racetrack. I think we’ll be pretty good.
“I’m really happy. We were hoping we’d have a good baseline and it looks like we do.”
For the 2019 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Champion, a strong run in the Derby would be the ultimate finish to an incredible season.
“It would mean the world. It would be my biggest accomplishment of the year. Winning the Kulwicki Driver Development Program was my biggest accomplishment, but that would add to an awesome 2019 season.”
With the importance of Friday’s Country Pleasin’ Pole Night, some competitors got an early start on mock qualifying runs. One such driver was Georgia’s Corey Heim, placing sixth on the charts.
“I’m feeling pretty good so far. We made a little bit of a mock run. I don’t know where we were on the charts, but the car felt pretty good. It’s definitely a big cluster of cars out here, with 50-some cars we have here. We’ll work on it a little bit more and hopefully gain some speed.”
David Rogers enters this year’s Snowball Derby looking to break a tie with Red Farmer for most starts in the historic event. He also returns to racing for the first time since last year’s Derby after a battle with cancer.
Rogers was pleased with his performance so far, which was good enough for 18thin the session during his first official seat time.
“For the first time out, first time in a car at Pensacola, it felt pretty good. We’re like everybody else, we have a lot of improving to do. The car felt pretty good and I felt decent in it. It’s all about getting me and it in-tune, I guess.”
Speed51 will have extensive coverage throughout the 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby presented by BJ’s Wholesale Club. Click hereto order pay-per-view tickets of the event.
Snowball Derby Practice Results, Round One
|46||20D||Jack Dossey III||16.990|
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo