Casey Roderick and Ronnie Sanders have become a formidable duo ever since teaming up in 2016. With nearly 20 total wins last year, double-digit wins and two track championships at Five Flags Speedway (FL) this year, Roderick and his Ronnie Sanders Racing team have established themselves as one of the favorites to win the 51st Annual Snowball Derby on Sunday, December 2.
“That’s what we’re working all year for,” Roderick said. “Especially here at Five Flags. To be able to pull that off for myself, my family, everyone that is involved with our team. It’s a group effort and everyone wants that one win.”
Roderick has made just four Snowball Derby starts, but like most Super Late Model drivers, the Derby is the race he wants to win the most. In four starts, he has a best finish of sixth-place in each of the last two races at the Florida Panhandle half-mile.
The 25-year-old driver said that the Snowball Derby just has a different feel to it, and that’s part of what makes this 51-year-old race so special.
“When you show up to the Snowball Derby the atmosphere is completely different. I wish every race had that,” Roderick stated. “We show up to all of these races all year long and it’s just another race. But as soon as you pull in Tuesday to line up outside to get ready to park it just has a whole different feeling. I think that’s what makes it so special. It’s its own race.”
The race is so special that many drivers dream about what it would be like to win it. Many have dreamed about it. Many have tried, but only 35 people have succeeded in winning the race. Roderick is like the many others who have dreamed about winning the Snowball Derby, and he’s hoping he becomes the 36th different driver to win the biggest pavement short track race in North America.
“I’ve dreamed about it one time that I can remember,” Roderick recalled. “I think it was about two years ago. I had a good shot at winning the Snowball Derby. It was 2015. That’s when I started running better in Supers down here in the Blizzard Series. That was my first Blizzard Series championship. I felt good and confident going into the Snowball. After practice we went back to the hotel. The car was good. I felt good about it. I actually dreamed about being in victory lane. It didn’t end up that way. We ran really good the first hundred laps or so, whatever it was. That first pit stop bit us. We got crashed on pit road and it put us out of the race. I felt good about the entire weekend, but it just didn’t come out the way we wanted it.”
The hope for Roderick is that it works out the right way this year and he’s the one celebrating with the Tom Dawson Trophy in victory lane.
“To be able to take that back to Lawrenceville, Georgia and to be able to kiss that trophy in victory lane, that’s what I want. And also that ring. That’s pretty cool.”
The 51st Annual Snowball Derby will take place on Wednesday, November 28 through Sunday, December 2 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. For more information regarding the event, visit Snowball Central presented by Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants.
Race fans unable to attend the 51st Annual Snowball Derby in person will be able to watch a pay-per-view broadcast all week long on Speed51.com. Five-day video tickets can be purchased now for $74.99 ($35 savings) to watch all of the action. Click here to purchase your video ticket today.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo credit: Speed51.com