Dennis Prunty won the biggest race of his career this past July, taking the checkered flag in the prestigious Slinger Nationals at Slinger Superspeedway (MI). Prunty led 189 of 199 laps and along with a $10,000 pay day for the win, banked nearly an additional $5,000 in lap money. As Prunty stood in Victory Lane with his big check, he proclaimed that as a result of the win he could head to the 48th Annual Snowball Derby on December 6.
“I saved the lap money from the Nationals and put it toward the cost of racing the Derby,” Prunty told Speed51.com. “This race costs more than any other race I race. I say every year that I’m not going back, but somehow I always get sucked back in.”
Prunty adds his name to a pretty stout list of Midwest drivers who will make the trip to Pensacola this year. While he has four previous trips to Five Flags Speedway to lean on, Prunty says he feels behind the eight ball compared to drivers who have the opportunity to practice and race there multiple times per year.
“I wish I had the time and the money to go down and practice and race there,” said Prunty. They definitely have the advantage on me. It does help that I have been there before, hopefully it’s enough. Always nervous about qualifying into this race. It’s a lot of work to not make it and go home.”
In five attempts, Prunty has only missed the race on one occasion. He knows what is takes to make the cut of the biggest race of the year and feels he and his team have his Anderson’s Maple Syrup No. 42 as prepared as ever.
“Basically we completely rebuilt the car for this year,” said Prunty. “Hopefully we didn’t miss anything. The car, the crew and the equipment have to be perfect. I guess you also need a good driver. We have learned as a team, something every year. Hopefully this time it all goes smooth.”
The other challenge Prunty and his team face when traveling over 1,000 miles is missing the comfort of racing in the Midwest.
“When you race near home, you know a lot more people that can help,” said Prunty. “They will help with set-up, they help if you need a part, etc. When I go to the Derby it’s like we are on our own. Hopefully we bring enough parts.”
With plenty of parts and his Slinger Nationals money in hand, Prunty plans to head down to Pensacola on Sunday and take a few days to relax before hoping to bring home the best Derby finish of his career.
“Goal is to qualify in the top ten and come home with a top-five finish,” said Prunty. “I only finished this race once. That was my first time there in 09. It’s time to finish again.”
Prunty will also be one of many drivers on hand at the Anderson’s Maple Syrup Snowball Derby Kick-Off Party at Beef O’Brady’s on Tuesday, December 1st.
The 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend kicks off with the Cat Country/WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Party on Wednesday, December 2. On-track activities start Thursday, December 3, for the opening practice rounds for the Snowball Derby Super Late Models and Snowflake 100 Pro Late Models. The Five Flags Butler U-Pull-It Bombers and Beef ‘O’Brady’s Sportsman divisions will also have feature events on Snowball Derby Thursday.
The top Snowball Derby starting spots will be set on Friday, December 4 during WXBM 102.7 Pole Night at Five Flags. The Five Flags Faith Chapel Super Stocks and Modifieds will also battle in their Snowball Derby features after Super Late Model qualifying.
The Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 takes center stage on Saturday, December 5 as the top Pro Late Model racers in the country qualify and battle for 100 laps at Five Flags. In addition, Saturday’s action features the final 50-lap qualifying event for Snowball Derby drivers to make one last effort to qualify for the 300-lap Super Late Model race. The Better Built Tool Box Pro Trucks will also have a 50-lap feature on Snowball Derby Saturday.
Then on Sunday, December 6, the green flag will drop on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby at 2 p.m. CT at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
Fans unable to make it to Pensacola, Florida for the Snowball Derby can watch all of the action through a live online TV style pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51 TV. A four-day video ticket can be purchased now for $59.99 allowing fans to watch all of the action from Five Flags Speedway. Single-day video tickets are also available. Visit Speed51.com for more information.
For more information on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway, visit www.snowballderby.com. All media credential requests and inquiries for the Snowball Derby can be sent to Matt Kentfield at [email protected] and/or Pat Bryant at [email protected]
For more information on Speed51.com and the rest of the 51 Companies, contact Jana Wimmer (Director of Business) at 51 Sports via email through [email protected] and visit Speed51.com. Speed51.com is on Twitter at @speed51dotcom and on Facebook by searching Speed51.com.
-51 Sports/Snowball Derby Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com