For the second straight year, ARCA Midwest Tour star Austin Nason will make the long haul from Illinois to compete in the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby. After finishing runner-up in ARCA Midwest Tour championship standings for the second-straight year, he now looks to build off his debut in the biggest Super Late Model race in the country one year ago.
Nason qualified into last year’s Snowball Derby on time, but his first Derby lasted just 55 laps before a wreck relegated him to a last-place finish on the day. Last year’s showing has him looking forward to making the trip back south to prove what his team is capable of.
“I’m pretty excited. Last year we made the show in our first attempt,” Nason told Speed51.com. “I’m excited to go back and hopefully we can last in the race a little longer than we did last year.”
Last year’s practice sessions were concentrated on making the show through Friday night’s qualifying. Knowing that they have the speed to qualify in on time, Nason plans to work more on race trim during the early practice sessions.
“We really concentrated on our speed, we never really got the chance to do any long runs. We know where we’re at for speed-wise when we get down there,” he said. “As long as we have good speed we’re going to definitely focus on some race stuff just so we know where we’re at when we get to the race on Sunday.”
Nason is one of several drivers from the upper Midwest that are scheduled to make the trip south for the Snowball Derby. He considers the event unlike any other race he attends, and a great way to get out of the snow and cold weather Mother Nature provides in December.
“I don’t know, it’s just special. You get down there and it’s just a different feeling. It’s different walking into that place, I mean everything they do down there is special,” he said. “The whole weekend is just a different feeling.”
“It’s pretty cool to have a lot of us Midwest guys heading down there,” he continued. “It’s vacation for us all, it’s getting cold and snowy up here so we all enjoy it while we’re down there.”
After an early exit in the race one year ago, Nason’s main goal for the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby is a simple one. As long as he’s running at the end of 300-laps, he feels as though he will have a shot at a good finish.
“We got taken out early last year, so we’re just going to go down there and finish, hope for a top ten, and hopefully be there at the end.”
Race fans looking to make the pilgrimage to Pensacola for the Snowball Derby can order tickets for the event now at 5flagsspeedway.com.
Thanks to Speed51’s Black Friday sale, you can now also purchase a four-day video ticket for the Snowball Derby for $79.99 and receive a free three-month subscription to the Speed51 Network. Click here to take advantage of this sale now.
Individual video tickets can be purchased now at the regular price by clicking here.
For more information on the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby, visit Speed51’s Snowball Central.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com