Two of the top names in Super Late Model racing will join forces for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. Dan Fredrickson is set to make the trip to Pensacola, FL for the biggest race of the year and has tapped veteran driver and crew chief Freddie Query to call the shots on top of the pit box.
“For probably 10 or 12 years now I’ve talked to Freddie on and off about racing and different chassis stuff and car dynamics and I’ve always really liked the way he thought about things,” Fredrickson told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “So when I heard he didn’t have a deal going I thought that’s exactly who I need.”
“Dan and I have kinda been friends for a long time,” Query explained. “We talk racing every now and then and he called me a couple weeks ago and asked me if I was going. I had a plan to go with someone else but it kinda fell through and Elaine and I had been talking about just going down there and watching. Dan said he needed someone to help in the pits on race day and whatever else you can and we thought about it and decided, heck, why not? He’ll have as good a chance to win the race as anybody else. It’ll be fun, so we just decided to work out a little deal and go do it.”
The key for the two-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion was to find someone who could be in charge of all the calls come Sunday afternoon. Coming from an area that doesn’t host a lot of live pit stop races, Fredrickson has always called the shots from behind the wheel. However, he knew that strategy isn’t going to cut it if he wants to compete for the Tom Dawson trophy. The best bet was to give Query a call, who is not only a veteran crew chief, but has 10 Snowball Derby starts himself with three top-five finishes.
“I’m always confident in getting good speed in my cars, but I was not confident in the fact that we just don’t have any experience running these pit stop races like this,” Fredrickson stated. “I mean, realistically we’ve never really done it; we went to snowball one time and we pitted one time and got wrecked, so we have virtually no experience at all, we just don’t do them up here.
“If you’d listen on the radio, we’re putting two pounds in one tire and taking one out of the other, measuring the stagger over the radio and calling back and figuring out our adjustments, trying to figure out how many cars are on the lead lap and what times guys are running and how much they’re dropping off. I’ve done that over the radio my whole life and I just feel like it’s probably going to be pretty hard to win the Snowball Derby if I have to do that and drive. He is going to be a key part in hopefully running good.”
While the two have talked shop for any years, this will mark the first time they’ve worked together. Anyone who knows Query and Fredrickson knows they can come with big personalities, but come the weekend of December 3rd, neither of them think that will be a problem.
“I think it’ll be seamless,” Fredrickson said. “I know that he gets a little grumpy and I get a little grumpy too, so I think it’s going to be great. I have a lot of respect for him and I think he has a lot of respect for me, so I don’t think there’s going to be be any issues with anything, I think it’s just going to be another great outside opinion that we didn’t have beforehand.”
“There was a time in my career, especially, as hard headed as I was and as he is too, you could see that there could be a possibility for problems, but it’s not going to be like that here,” Query began. “It’s his show. He’s the one that pretty much asked me to come down and do what I’m going to do, so I’m gonna do what he’s asked me to do and not try and do any more than that. It’s his show and I’m just gonna try and help out what I can.”
With the addition of Query, Fredrickson said that can be the difference between a win and a top-10 finish. While the Minnesota driver remains confident in his abilities to compete in Pensacola, his new crew chief is more than confident in his abilities as well.
“My expectations are very high because I know he’s a successful racer,” Query said. “That’s how I met him, racing against him at Speedweeks years ago, and I know he’s a hard charger and very race car smart. Hopefully with what little bit I can contribute and with his experience and background, I think he has a good chance to win the race.”
Race fans unable to make it to Pensacola, FL for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will be able to watch a live, television-style broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com