Competitors in the Snowball Derby and Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 found out when they will qualify during the PFC Brakes Qualifying Drawdown Wednesday night at Five Flags Speedway. Drivers in both divisions felt good about their chances of locking themselves in the Top-30 for Country Pleasin’ Sausage Pole Night while sharing a laugh.
Michael House was the first driver to go on-stage to draw for his qualifying spot for Friday night. As fate would have it, the driver of the No.1 Super Late Model drew the No.1 snowball and will be the first driver to qualify Friday night.
“Maybe that’s telling me something that I’m pretty lucky,” House said. “We’ll see, I think we have a pretty good car and I’m really looking forward to this deal this year.”
On the flip side, NASCAR Truck Series competitor Grant Enfinger drew the No.60 and will be the last car to qualify. Making his first start in the Derby since 2016, the driver from nearby Fairhope, AL is feeling alright about where he currently stands.
“Oh, I don’t know. Honestly, it’ll probably be fine,” said Enfinger. “Who knows.”
Defending Snowball Derby winner Travis Braden went on stage seeking advice from Speed51 President Bob Dillner as to which snowball to take.
“I thought it was something you were going to tell me, Bob,” Braden said.
The Wheeling, WV driver would then choose No. 11.
“I’ll take it. Somebody was telling me with the dampness coming in, there might be a chance of dew later. Might as well get it over, right?”
After not making the trip south in 2019, Paul Shafer Jr returns to the Snowball Derby to cap off a year that saw him return to ARCA Midwest Tour victory lane. He drew No.42, already having had an eventful week to date.
“It’s been a long week. We blew a motor Monday trying to test, we only made three laps,” Shafer revealed. “We put a new one in and it was turning just a little bit ago. It sounds good to be, we’ll see what happens. No. 42, I can’t complain.”
Ross Kenseth is also making a return to the Snowball Derby, having last competed in the crown jewel six years ago. He appeared on the stage with his daughter to draw No. 35.
“It’s really cool to be back here, it’s the biggest race in short track racing. To come here with a really good team, I’m really thankful for Jim Weber to let me drive his car.”
The 53rd Annual Snowball Derby brings several changes, one of which includes Bubba Pollard’s move to TK Racing and adopting No. 71. It’s something he has to get used to as well.
“I was up here for No.26 earlier,” said Pollard. “I missed out on a couple drinks.”
The Blizzard Series champion then drew No.53, making him one of the last drivers to make their qualifying attempt Friday night.
“As long as you have a good car, you’ll qualify good anyway. We’ll see how it goes.”
The No. 13 is often seen as an unlucky number in racing. The number was picked up by 2018 ARCA Midwest Tour champion Dalton Zehr to conclude Snowball Derby qualifying draw, who then joked about the superstition.
“You know, at least I’ll have an excuse I guess,” he laughed. “I think we’ll be fine, 13’s a little earlier than I’d like to be but we’ll go turn the best lap we can.”
Not every driver was able to make an appearance during the Qualifying Drawdown. Boris Jurkovic was one of those drivers, utilizing Rowdy Manufacturing’s Justin Oertel to draw for him. However, Oertel was uneasy about letting the former Winchester and All American 400 winner know when he will qualify after picking No.4.
“He won’t like that,” joked Oertel. I’m not calling him and telling him.”
Race fans unable to attend the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby can watch the event live on Speed51.TV. Click here to order your Speed51.TV broadcast today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
Snowball Derby Qualifying Order:
|40||7||Paul Shafer, Jr.|
Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 Qualifying Order:
|10||33||Wes Griffith, Jr.|
|34||18||Johanna Long Robbins|