While many drivers will be traveling across the country to compete in the 51st Annual Snowball Derby, there’s one driver who won’t have to travel far from home. Logan Boyett of Pensacola, Florida will only need to make a hop, skip and a jump to arrive at his home track of Five Flags Speedway.
As a hometown driver, Boyett is one of the fan favorites and a dark horse pick with the home-track advantage. For the second year in a row, Boyett will be attempting double-duty in both the Snowball Derby and the Pro Trucks.
Boyett ran select Late Model races this year, but most of his focus was on running a Pro Truck for owner Gerald Boyd. What started as a one-off deal for last year’s Pro Truck race at the Snowball Derby led to four wins and a Five Flags Speedway track championship. He says the championship will not only help heading into the Pro Truck race, but also the Snowball Derby.
“For heading into Derby week, it gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of knowledge,” Boyett told Speed51.com. “I’ve mentioned before in many interviews that we’ve learned a lot of what not to do, and that’s what we really use our season for, was to try new things and see what would and wouldn’t work so we knew what not to waste our time with at the Snowball.”
Racing a Pro Truck was not in the mind of Boyett heading into last year’s race, but a call from owner Gerald Boyd changed that. After a top-five finish last year, it turned into a full-season deal that saw the pair have wild success.
“It all started with a phone call about a week before the Snowball Derby Preview last year,” Boyett explained. “Gerald asked me if I could drive the truck for him and we kind of just hit it off together as crew chief and driver. It went from there and we decided to run the whole season together after the third-place finish at the Derby. We ended up winning four races at Five Flags and a fifth race at Montgomery this year. We’ve gained a lot to move forward to the Derby.”
While the goal for the Snowball Derby has always been the same, Boyett will be putting focus into the Pro Truck race. He looks to represent Pensacola and back up his track championship with a win.
“My goal is that checkered flag in the truck race,” Boyett said. “That’s our first goal. And of course, to finish first, you must first finish, so I have to be careful and be mindful of what’s going on around me. I’ve got a great spotter to help me with that, so we should be in pretty good shape. We had a really good day testing the truck and learned a lot. We have a little motor issue right now that we found out during the last run; we were down a cylinder or two, it seems like. We found a spark plug that was burned down to the core, so that’s what we think was the problem. He’s got it back in Texas right now trying to figure out what all is wrong with it.”
Despite the vast difference in intensity for the two races, Boyett says the biggest challenge for he and his teams for both the Super Late Model and the Pro Truck are the same.
“The biggest challenge is not to make setup mistakes and for me to not make any mistakes giving them feedback, because if I tell them something wrong, they’ll do what I say and it’ll all come back on me. But we’re just going to approach it with our chins up and a positive mindset. We shouldn’t be far off with where we need to be. We’ve got a little bit left to make sure it’s working and running like it should be with the engine problem. We just have to look at it as a new day and just any other race. We can’t really put too much pressure on ourselves with it. I’ve done that before and it always ends up biting you.”
For Boyett, he will look to improve on his personal best of 13th in the 2015 running of the Snowball Derby. With the success fellow Pensacola native Johanna Long-Robbins had in the Snowball Derby, he says a win during Derby week would mean the world to him.
“If I were to win, it would mean the world,” Boyett stated. “Coming from Pensacola, it means even more. I’ve been told, you’re one of the few guys that’s carrying the torch. And that’s true, we’re one of the few remaining drivers around here that carries the torch, and it’s great having these local drivers. It’s always more important and meaningful to us if we get to hoist a trophy up for a Snowball Derby win.”
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, including qualifying night. 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.
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.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com