MOORESVILLE, N.C. – The LFR Driver Development Group was greatly represented during Five Flags Speedway’s 2015 Snowball Derby, as drivers William Byron, Quin Houff and Christian Eckes all made the field for the famed short track race and finished in the Top-25. Byron earned the LFR Driver Development Group an 8th place finish, while Houff placed 12th and Eckes rounded out the group in the 22nd spot. It was the debut appearance for all three drivers in the famed Snowball Derby event.
“The Snowball Derby this year was another huge moment for LFR Driver Development Group and chassis company,” said Rob Fuller, team owner. “We took three kids down there that have never raced in the derby before and they all made the show. I'm so proud of what they accomplished and how they matured over just those four days that we were down there. I'm really looking forward to working with all of these young drivers in the 2016 season especially after how strong they ran at the Snowball Derby. It was an unbelievable feeling when I knew that all the LFR Chassis on-site cars made the show. Another milestone for our young company.”
In his debut Snowball Derby start, William Byron was looking forward to competing for the win during Sunday’s race. The 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion spent much of his race day up towards the front of the field, competing alongside the NASCAR notables such as Chase Elliott and Christopher Bell.
"We had a solid weekend for my first Snowball Derby with LFR Chassis,” stated Byron. “The competition for the race is unbelievable. We had to overcome a few issues throughout the weekend in the Liberty University car. But the team continued to work on the car throughout the practice sessions, we fought and raced hard in the race and no one ever gave up. We finished all 300 laps and earned a top 10, I’m really proud of the team's effort. Thanks to everyone at Liberty University and LFR Chassis for a good weekend."
Quin Houff, who finished 12th this past weekend, spent the first half of the weekend focused on making the big event. After making it into the race on time, Houff then prepared for the challenges of the Snowball Derby, including the length of the race and competing in live pit stops – something the 18-year-old short track racer has limited experience with.
“What a week for the No. 17 #Beatincancer LFR Chevy!” said Houff. “We went down to Pensacola to experience our very first Snowball Derby, and I must say I was very surprised at the magnitude of this race. There were so many cars and fans there even in the early parts of the week. Cody Jones and the crew did a great job tuning in the car throughout the week, and we got locked in on qualifying day by qualifying inside the Top-30! That was huge for us being our first race down at Five Flags Speedway.”
“Race day was hectic with a lot of new things that I was experiencing from how long of a race it was to competing in live pit stops,” he continued. “We fought through it and battled hard to finish 12th! I’m so proud of the team’s efforts, especially with the level of competition found in that field. We learned a lot and feel we let everyone know we were there and are now more ready than ever to take on the 2016 race season! Can't thank Cody Jones and all the LFR team for all they do for me.”
Christian Eckes also had an eventful Snowball Derby debut, as the 15-year-old driver was the fastest for most of the event’s practices, but a wreck during the last few minutes of final practice caused some damage to the car. Eckes missed qualifying into the Snowball Derby on time, but did race his way into it by finishing second in the Last Chance Qualifier race. After starting 32nd in the main event, Eckes focused on racing his way up through the field to about 14th place. Unfortunately, a pit road miscue prevented him from finishing in the Top-20, but the driver says he still had a great time and learned a lot.
“The weekend went pretty well even all the obstacles we faced,” explained Eckes. “We ended up having the fastest car in the Thursdaypractices, and unfortunately the car got wrecked the car right after that. The crew worked hard to fix it, but it was just off from what we hadThursday. We ended up missing qualifying by one spot on Friday, but raced our way into the show on Saturday. During the Derby, we raced our way up from 32nd to 14th by Lap 175. However, we ended up getting tangled up on pit road on Lap 193, which gave us a flat front left tire. The crew worked hard again to fix it, but we were 7 laps down when we came back out on the track. Still, I’m so proud of all the effort the guys from LFR put in all weekend and can’t thank them enough for this opportunity!”
-LFR Driver Development Group Press Release. Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Speed51.com