A few of the biggest names from the Late Model Stock Car world have made the decision to head down to Pensacola, Florida for the 47th Annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway. Clay Jones and Kyle Plott have both filed entries for the 300-lap Snowball Derby in Super Late Models, which can be seen live on 51 TV.
"The Snowball is one of the biggest races in Late Model history, said Kyle Plott, from Marietta, GA, who competes regularly at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC). "I’m really excited for it. We definitely have a better car this year and have a better motor under the hood."
This is Plott's third trip to Snowball Derby weekend, but it's his first ever attempt at qualifying for the Snowball Derby itself. He ran the Snowflake 100 the other two times he's been down and his best result of 13th came during his first attempt in 2012.
"We definitely have some good stuff this year," Plott told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. "This will be my third time going down there and I feel fairly confident that we’ll make it into the race. We’ll do what we can do and see how it winds up.”
Clay Jones, from Goldsboro, NC, is another driver making a return to the Snowball Derby, but his lone trip didn't go as well as he hoped it would have.
"We went down in 2006 with Curtis Venable and actually made the race and ran really well," said Jones, "but I got caught up in an accident near the end of the race."
Jones finished 32nd in that start. Now he's heading back and he's partnered with Venable again. The duo wants to have a better result than in 2006, but they know that with 67 cars on the entry list they have to make sure they first make the race.
"You've got to make the race," said Jones. "The competition down there is top-notch. You have to be on your game. There are a lot of cars that will be sent home."
Both Plott and Jones know that it will be incredibly difficult to win this race. They're up against some of the best competition in Super Late Model racing. But that doesn't mean they haven't thought about what it would be like to win it.
"It’d be huge," said the 18-year-old Plott. "It’d be awesome to add that to my resume. Big races like that definitely boost your confidence."
Jones said he couldn't put into words what a Snowball Derby win would mean to him.
"Everybody knows this is the biggest race of the year in any kind of short track racing," said Jones. "Any time you've got Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott running against you, there's nothing better than running door to door with guys like that. If I pull off a win I'll probably go on vacation for a couple months. That would be awesome."
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. Photo Credit: Clay Jones Facebook Photo