Two weeks ago, Kyle Plott traveled to Braselton, Georgia not only to compete at Lanier Raceplex and celebrate the reopening of one of his home state tracks, but also to gain some momentum for the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. Unfortunately, trouble befell the No. 4 team during race day practice with engine gremlins curtailing his winning chances.
But through some last-minute scrambling and determination, the team managed to get their backup car to the track just prior to the start of the 200-lap feature. In the end, Plott wheeled the car home to sixth, and despite all the troubles, they found the momentum they were looking for entering the biggest race of the season.
“It was good that we did what we did. We didn’t get any practice for that car and to come back with a sixth was pretty cool,” Plott told Speed51. “To get that car off the trailer and racing in 15 minutes, I think that shows a lot about our team, and how much they want to race. We got that car turned around and ready for the Derby. My Super is ready, we just got to put a wrap on it and it’s going in the trailer.”
Determined to avoid another similar snafu on the Florida Panhandle with either his Super or Pro Late Model, Plott took the past two weeks to step up what is already a rigorous preparation process.
“Prepping for the Derby is unlike any other event we do, we go through these things from top to bottom, replace bolts, and just crossing all our T’s and dotting all our I’s to get everything ready. We need to make sure we don’t have anything stupid happen down there.”
After getting his first win in the Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Model Series during the summer at Five Flags, Plott has jumped to the favorite lists for many when it comes to the Snowflake 100 on Saturday, December 7. He hopes that same success will come soon with the Super Late Model, perhaps even as soon as Snowball Derby race day on Sunday, December 8.
“That was huge for me for sure,” he said. “We’ve always had pretty good cars at Pensacola, but something always seemed to happen when I got a good car. I’d get wrecked, have an electrical short, parts failures, you name it, I’ve probably had it. It was great to get that win out of the way, now it’s on to getting that first Super win, it’d be crazy to win the Snowball. Just got to do it, and not having bad luck.”
While there might be some drivers and teams that would consider parking the Pro Late Model to focus on a Snowball Derby victory, Plott is not giving up on the Snowflake 100 so easily.
“It is hard running two cars, but my guys know what they got to do, and they do a great job working on these cars all the time. I thought about not running the Pro because I want to win the Snowball so bad. But, Jimmy Nicholson has been huge for this deal, and him helping me on the Pro and doing what he does for me had been great. So, it wasn’t an option not to run it. So, we’ll do our best with both cars, and I feel like we have a good notebook on the Pro, so we can focus on the Super.”
Confident in what he has seen, Plott feels his expectations are realistic, while also being ambitious. But, the road to victory may just start from being ambitious even before the trailers leave his shop in Georgia.
“I would say the realistic thing would be top five in the Pro and top 10 in the Super, that would be great for us. That being said, I feel like I got a really good chance with the Pro for the Snowflake, and this new Super we’ve built, we went down there and tested, it’s the best one I’ve had down there yet. I got a lot of confidence in both of them right now. It’s probably the most excited for the Derby I’ve been, ever.”
Race fans looking to make the pilgrimage to Pensacola for the Snowball Derby can order tickets for the event now at 5flagsspeedway.com.
Thanks to Speed51’s Black Friday sale, you can now also purchase a four-day video ticket for the Snowball Derby for $79.99 and receive a free three-month subscription to the Speed51 Network. Click here to take advantage of this sale now.
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: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com