Festivities for the 49th Annual Snowball Derby will officially begin on Saturday, November 19 when drivers and teams head down to Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway for the first official practice session, known as the Snowball Derby Preview.
However, the Snowball Preview is more than just a practice session. It’s a chance for some teams to take home some big money before they come back to Five Flags a couple of weeks later.
Five Flags Speedway will put up bonuses for the fastest laps laid down during the event. All divisions racing during Snowball Derby week – Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Pro Trucks, Super Stocks, Modifieds, Sportsman and Bombers – will have a chance to put down a fast lap during a three-hour window (4-7 p.m.). The driver with the fastest lap around the fast half-mile oval in each division will be awarded the bonus money.
“There is always a lot of excitement around Five Flags on Snowball Derby Preview day with drivers trying to get their cars fast for Snowball Derby, but with some extra cash on the line again this year, there’s definitely some added drama as well,” said Tim Bryant, Promoter of the Snowball Derby. “Any team who wants to put on a transponder and comes out of the Snowball Derby Preview with the quickest lap will have some extra bragging rights and all eyes on them going into Snowball Derby week.”
Snowball Derby Super Late Model drivers will be competing for a $500 bonus for the fastest lap during the November 19 Snowball Derby Preview.
Pro Late Models will run for a $300 bonus, while Pro Trucks, Super Stocks, Modifieds and Sportsman will compete for a $200 bonus per division. $150 will go to the Bomber driver with the fastest lap as well.
To be eligible for the Fast Lap Cash Award, cars must have track-issued transponders ($20 rental fee). The fastest laps will be recorded between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on November 19. Divisions will run on a rotating basis and all cars are subject to random technical inspection to ensure a level playing field for the bonuses.
Young star Harrison Burton won the Super Late Model fast-lap prize of $500 at the 2015 Snowball Derby preview, beating out Jerry Artuso by a slim margin of .004 seconds.
Canadian driver Martin Latulippe (Pro Late Models), Chase Oliver (Modifieds), Steven Davis (Pro Trucks), Dustin Knowles (Super Stocks), Brandon Fowler (Sportsman) and Gino Denmark (Bomber) each took home extra cash in 2015.
Gates open for competitors at 8 a.m. CT on Saturday, November 19 for the Snowball Derby Preview. Rotating practice begins at 9 a.m., with the Fast Lap Cash Award being given to the quickest laps set between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The 49th Annual Snowball Derby weekend kicks off on Wednesday, November 30 with the Cat Country/WEAR TV3 Green Flag Pit Party and Qualifying Order Draw Down.
Thursday, December 1 will see the Super Late Models take to the track for the first official Snowball Derby practice. The night will be highlighted by a 30-lap race for the Butler U-Pull-It Bombers and a 50-lap event for the Dock on the Beach Sportsmen division.
The top Snowball Derby starting spots will be set on Friday, December 2 during NASH FM 102.7 Pole Night. The Faith Chapel Super Stocks and the Modifieds will each run 50-lap features.
The Pro Late Models take center stage on Saturday, December 3 for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100. The 50-lap Last Chance Qualifier for the Snowball Derby and a 50-lap feature for the Beef O’Brady’s Pro Truck division will also run on Saturday night.
Then on Sunday, December 4 the green flag will fly over the the 49th Annual Snowball Derby. The 300-lap race will begin at 2 p.m. CT.
For more information on the 49th 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 Pat Bryant at [email protected].
-51 Sports/Snowball Derby Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman