In less than one minute’s time, a driver’s fate can be decided at the Snowball Derby. That makes Snowball Derby Pole Night one of the most intense nights in short track racing.
From the drop of the green flag on their first lap, drivers are on the very edge of their race car’s limit, vying to make the biggest show of the year with only two laps to get it done. The nerves that drivers will experience before and during their qualifying laps is nearly unmatched.
“The Derby qualifying is probably the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve done as a driver,” rising star Harrison Burton claimed. “It’s hundredths of seconds that can make the difference between being in or out of the race. I think as a young kid going there it’s pretty nerve-wracking and pretty challenging.”
While race fans look to the 50th Annual Snowball Derby race day on December 3 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL, the drivers and their teams will put much of their focus on Qualifying Night on Friday, December 1. For most teams, there is little time to test race setups during the practice sessions because if you don’t make the top 30 there’s a chance you might not be racing at all on Sunday.
With close to 70 Super Late Models expected, just 30 spots are available on Friday night in one of the most stacked fields in Derby history. Those who don’t make the top 30 will make their way to a chaotic Last Chance Race on Saturday, making the perfect qualifying lap even more important.
Qualifying Night brings out not just the fastest Super Late Model laps you will see all year, but some of the rawest emotions; not just for the drivers on the bubble for the top 30, but also for those battling for the pole position.
Friday activity at Five Flags Speedway begins at 10 a.m. CT with a morning practice for the Snowball Derby Super Late Models. This will be immediately followed by a morning session for the Snowflake 100 Pro Late Models and a single hour-long session for the Modifieds.
The Super Late Models get a final one-hour practice session at 1 p.m. followed by Snowflake 100 afternoon practice and Modified Qualifying at 3 p.m.
At 6 p.m., the intensity ramps up with qualifying for the 50th Snowball Derby which will set the top 30 for Sunday. The day concludes with the Modified B-Main and the 75-lap Modified feature event.
Reserved tickets are still available for Qualifying Night as a part of the five-day $75 ticket package, while single night reserved and general admission tickets are also available.
Fans who cannot make it to Five Flags Speedway can see on the action live on Speed51.com. Racing for all five nights is available for $74.99 while the Friday night only broadcast is also available for $19.99.
The 50th Annual Snowball Derby will kick off on Wednesday, November 29 with racing for the first time in event history on a Wednesday night. The Pure Stock division will be in action for a 50-lap feature prior to the annual Green Flag Pit Party and all-important qualifying draw for Late Model drivers.
Late Models will hit the track for the first time on Thursday, November 30 prior to 50-lap features for the Sportsman and Outlaw Stock divisions later that night.
Friday, December 1 is the most intense day in all of short track racing. It’s qualifying day for the Snowball Derby. Also on Friday night, the Modifieds will get their spotlight as they do battle for 75 laps to crown their Snowball Derby champion.
Saturday, December 2 is Allen Turner Snowflake 100 race day. Qualifying for the Snowflake 100 will begin at 2 p.m. CT. A 50-lap last chance race for the Snowflake 100 will immediately follow qualifying. The 50-lap last chance race for the Snowball Derby will also be held on Saturday evening at the conclusion of the last chance race for the Snowflake 100.
The green flag for the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 will wave at 7 p.m. Also on Saturday night, the Pro Trucks will race for 50 laps to decide who takes their Snowball Derby victory.
Sunday, December 3 is the biggest day of the year in short track racing. It’s race day for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. Pre-race festivities will begin at Noon CT. The class photo for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will be taken on the frontstretch at 12:30. Driver introductions will follow at 1:15 p.m. The green flag for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby will wave at 2 p.m.
More information on the 50th Annual Snowball Derby can be found by visiting www.snowballderby.com and www.5flagsspeedway.com.
-51 Sports/Snowball Derby Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com