Brayton Haws has spent most of his young life running in the Late Model Stock Car world, but now he’s attempting to make his Pro Late Model debut in one of the biggest races of the season, the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. The race, which takes place on the Saturday night prior to the prestigious Snowball Derby, features some of the biggest names in Late Model racing.
Haws had never turned a single lap in a Pro Late Model before testing at Five Flags this past weekend. Instead of focusing on laying down the fastest lap possible, the 2014 Autumn Classic winner at Southern National Motorsports Park focused on just getting comfortable in the new type of car.
“I was just feeling the car out in my first few laps,” Haws told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “The cars are really darty compared to the Late Model Stock. It has quicker steering. Other than that it basically seems the same to me.”
As if feeling out a new type of race car wasn’t enough, he’s also feeling out a new race track. The 15-year-old driver from Youngsville, NC had never been to Five Flags Speedway before taking to the track in testing.
“It’s really, really fast,” said Haws. “I think the closest comparison is probably Myrtle Beach. The way you drive it reminds me of Myrtle Beach for some reason. It’s definitely a really fun track to race around.”
Haws has been getting help from one of the best Late Model drivers in the business in Mike Garvey. Garvey has won some of the biggest races in Late Model competition and has led a bunch of laps at Five Flags Speedway throughout his career.
“He was really helping me with my line,” said Haws. “He was telling me what to do for qualifying and when we get to the race.”
Even with his lack of experience at the race track and in the car, Haws thinks that he can be competitive on Saturday night, especially with Garvey’s assistance.
“We are going down there looking for a top-five,” said Haws. “Everybody is looking for a win, but I think a top-three or a top-five would be really good for me and my family and for Mike and Tracy Goodson.”
Haws will be racing the No. 41 Pro Late Model sponsored by Rheem, Mechanical HVAC Services and Beef ‘O Brady’s, the host of Tuesday night’s Snowball Derby Kickoff Party in Downtown Pensacola.
The 47th Annual Snowball Derby kicks off on Wednesday, December 3 with the Cat Country/WEAR TV3 Green Flag Party. As the teams unload and begin the tech process, from 5-9 p.m. fans can meet the drivers and see the cars that will compete during Snowball Derby Weekend.
The first on-track activity of the week comes on Thursday, as practice for the Super and Pro Late Models commence. Later that evening, qualifying and feature action for the Five Flags Speedway Butler U-Pull-It Bomber and Beef O’Brady’s Sportsmen divisions will take place.
On Friday, December 5, it is NASH 102.7 Pole Night, as the top 30 in Snowball Derby qualifying will be locked into Sunday’s 300-lap feature. More practice for the Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100 cars will take place, as well as a full card of Super Stock and Modified action.
Then on Saturday, December 6, it’s the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 time trials, qualifying races and the 100-lap feature, plus final practice for the Snowball Derby cars, a 50-lap Pro Trucks feature and a 50-lap last-chance qualifying race to lock the final cars into the Snowball Derby.
Finally, the 47th Annual Snowball Derby will then go green on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m. ET at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
The full 47th Annual Snowball Derby weekend schedule is available at www.snowballderby.com.
Tickets and reserved camping spots are still available, but going fast. To order tickets or to reserve a camping spot, call the Five Flags Speedway box office at (850) 944-8400.
For more information about Five Flags Speedway and the 47th Annual Snowball Derby weekend, please visit www.5flagsspeedway.com, www.snowballderby.com or contact the track by calling (850) 944-8400.
– 51 Sports / Snowball Derby press release