Augie Grill is one of just two former Snowball Derby champions that are entered for the 52nd edition of the biggest short track race in the country in just a week’s time. The Hayden, Alabama driver became just the second driver to go back-to-back in the Derby when he won in 2007 and 2008. Now, over 10 years since his last victory, he’ll once again return to Five Flags Speedway looking for a third victory.
While it will only be Grill’s sixth start in a Super Late Model in 2019, he has still been as busy as ever between hopping in a Pro Late Model and Modified, as well as his duties with Grand American Race Cars. One year ago, Grill failed to make the field for the Snowball Derby for the first time in his career. However, recent speed now has his team ready to reassert themselves as one of the strongest at Five Flags Speedway.
“I actually wasn’t very excited until we went and practiced a little bit last weekend and now I feel like we’re pretty good. I’m pretty excited now, it seems like it’s been a while since I’ve ran good down there period,” Grill told Speed51.com. “It’s a good piece to go down there with.”
With a storied career that’s included several big wins in Super, Pro, and even Outlaw Super Late Model competition, his two Snowball Derby wins are what stands out the most. It’s not the only success he’s seen at Five Flags Speedway during Snowball Derby weekend, also having three Snowflake 100 wins and Modified feature wins each of the last two years. With all the success, the drive for yet another Tom Dawson Trophy continues.
“They’re still what I hang my hat on, but I’d definitely like to get another one sometime,” he said. “If I don’t get another one at least I can say I’ve got two of them and a couple Snowflakes to go along with it.”
A third Snowball Derby win would set Grill alone in second place for most wins in the race. He is one of eight drivers with two Derby wins, and with only NASCAR Cup Series drivers Erik Jones and Kyle Busch the only two-time winners still active behind the wheel, it gives Grill a strong opportunity to be just the second driver to three wins in the prestigious race.
“I think Rich Bickle’s won five and the next closest is two, so getting another one period would be cool. I don’t know if I’ll ever get another one but I’ve got two that are on my mantle and I hope we can add to it,” Grill stated. “After practice the other day, I was very optimistic about going down there this weekend. We’ll just see how it plays out and see what we can do.”
As the years since his two Snowball Derby triumphs pass, the importance of the race remains the same. Grill will look to be part of the continuing legacy of the race next weekend.
“It’s very important to me. I’ve said it at least a hundred times, this is our Daytona 500, the Snowball is. In short track racing, there’s really nothing more important than winning that thing.”
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: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com