Each year, the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway sees drivers from all over the country make the trip to Pensacola to compete in the Road to the Snowball Derby. The Midwest region has been well represented thus far with Wisconsin’s Dennis Prunty and Indiana’s Jack Dossey III making the trip. This Friday night, the state of Illinois will be represented by former Winchester 400 and All-American 400 champion Boris Jurkovic.
The Summer Sizzler 75 will be the Manhattan, Illinois driver’s second career Blizzard Series start after a ninth-place finish in last year’s finale. He will be taking a new Rowdy Manufacturing car that has led him to four wins at Berlin Raceway and a third-place finish in the Money in the Bank 150 already this season. He is using Friday night as a chance to get the new car dialed in for December’s Snowball Derby, a race he failed to qualify for last December.
“I’m just trying to get some seat time with the new car down there,” Jurkovic told Speed51.com. “We’d like to race down there at the Derby and be competitive. It’s quite awesome. It’s very drivable and it responds to adjustments, which is a good thing for me right now. I was struggling there for a couple years. It’s probably the best car I’ve ever drove.”
Friday night’s Blizzard Series race will utilize a heat race format for the first time, with qualifying being scrapped in favor of 10-lap heat races to decide the starting lineup for the shortened 75-lap feature.
Jurkovic will line up fifth in a ultra-stacked third heat that includes both 2019 Blizzard Series winners Giovanni Bromante and Bubba Pollard, two-time defending Blizzard Series champion Casey Roderick, CRA SpeedFest winner Connor Okrzesik, Florida shoes Logan Boyett and Jesse Dutilly, and long-time ASA competitor Mike Garvey.
With the heat races deciding the starting lineup for the 75- lap feature, he is expecting a lot of aggressiveness to get to the front and get a decent starting spot for the main event.
“It’s probably going to get pretty aggressive in the heat race, I would imagine,” he said. “We’ll see how it plays out but I would imagine that’s the case, everyone’s going to want to start at the front.”
The 75-lap feature will also throw a new wrench into drivers’ strategies. As most Blizzard Series races go the distance of 100 laps, he is not sure how the race will play out strategy-wise. However, Jurkovic has had success in similar-length races, having won two 75-lap races at Berlin Raceway this season.
“I would have to say that seventy-five laps is not a really long time, so I don’t know how much you would have to conserve your stuff,” he said. “Track position would have to be more important than tires at this point. Everybody’s going to have the same amount of laps.”
Race fans can watch Jurkovic and the rest of the Southern Super Series stars via a live video stream on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes. All that is needed to watch the live broadcast is a premium monthly or yearly subscription to the Speed51 Network. Click here to join today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com