While no Late Models took to the track at Five Flags Speedway on Wednesday, it was still a critical morning and afternoon on the first official day of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. Following the load-in of over 100 haulers to the speedway grounds, the line for technical inspection opened for the first time this week. And for most, it was smooth sailing.
After all Super and Pro Late Models went through for the first time, the news was good for most teams, with non-conforming cars being only slightly out of the box with body issues. This was the case for some of the contenders; however, by the close of inspection most cars had made it through the tech area for a second look-over.
Not only did all cars get through with no major violations, with only a few being required to return on Thursday, but they made their way through in an expedited process. At 6:10 p.m. CT, the tech line was clear as drivers made their way to the qualifying draw.
Many drivers, including Maine driver Cassius Clark, offered compliments to the Ricky Brooks-led inspection crew.
“I think there was a good process where they went through and they did everybody’s pre-check at the pits and released you so there wasn’t a big jam up. It’s been pretty relaxed and it seems good,” Clark told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
The King Racing No. 13 team also had an uneventful day with only routine items coming up in the inspection process.
“We were 20 pounds too light and just little things like that. We’ll get it fixed up and ready for the next day.”
One of the last cars to make it to the qualifying line as the 5 p.m. cutoff neared was the No. 45 being driven this week by five-time Snowball Derby winner Rich Bickle. For the team, it was only a matter of making sure that all the boxes had checked off before first hitting the tech shed with the brand-new car.
“It’s a new car and we never had it on track until the other day and we’ve been working on it for two days trying to get it right and make sure that when we went through that we wouldn’t have too much to do after,” Bickle explained.
After making the pass through the inspection process, Bickle was satisfied with how things had turned out.
“We got through pretty much unscathed, just a couple of odds and ends that takes two seconds to change, a lot less than some other people today. We basically got a green light today, we’ll be good to go tomorrow.”
The first Super Late Model practice for the Snowball Derby rolls off Thursday morning at 10 a.m. CT. Speed51.com will have live pay-per-view coverage on Speed51 TV. Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.
Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Wednesday's activities by visiting Speed51.com's Trackside Now.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com