The countdown to the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby is now down to three weeks, with some teams already entering the final phases of preparation. Why so early? Many of those same race teams will be at Five Flags Speedway in just one week to test their hotrods at the Snowball Derby Preview.
This day-long test session on Saturday, November 21 at the Pensacola, Florida half-mile will be open not only to the Super Late Model drivers eyeing the Derby’s Tom Dawson trophy on December 6, but also the Pro Late Model drivers entering the Snowflake 100 on December 5, as well as the Modifieds of Mayhem, Pro Trucks, Outlaws, Sportsmen and Pure Stock squads who will all compete for their own Derby glory.
Rotating practice sessions will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Preview day, with drivers and mechanics concentrating on establishing their setups for the first six hours of the day. As for the last three hours, the focus will then shift to raw speed, with some cash incentive on the line.
Specifically, the fastest Super Late Model driver during that window will receive $500, with the fastest Pro Late Model competitor taking home $300. Outlaws, Sportsmen, Pro Trucks, Modifieds and Pure Stocks will each pay $200 to their fastest driver.
Last year, Jeremy Pate picked up the $500 for setting the fastest lap of the day in the Super Late Models, while recently-crowned Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway champion Dylan Fetcho was fastest for the Pros. Kyle Purvis was quickest for the Modifieds, with Daryl McDonald (Pure Stocks), Josh Hicks (Pro Trucks), B.J. Leytham (Sportsmen) and Jason Welch (Outlaw Stocks) also scoring prizes.
Race fans will be able to keep up with Snowball Derby Preview, either by attending in person at Five Flags Speedway, where the grandstands will be open for free. Fans can also watch live on Speed51.TV, also for free with a Speed51 subscription, at 4 p.m. for the three-hour speed session.
More information on the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby can be found by visiting Snowball Central on Speed51.com.
Tickets are still available for purchase but are expected to sell out by the week of the event. More information can be found by visiting www.5flagsspeedway.com or by calling the track office at (850) 944-8400.
The 53rd Annual Snowball Derby begins on Thursday, December 3, with the WCIParts.com Pro Trucks, the Dock of Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks competing in their feature events following the first rounds of practice for Super Late Model and Pro Late Model teams.
Friday, December 4 presents one of the most dramatic and intense days in short track racing, with Snowball Derby teams competing for a spot in Sunday’s race on Country Pleasin’ Sausage Pole Night. The Modifieds of Mayhem Tour 75-lap season finale follows qualifying.
Saturday, December 5 is an action-packed day of racing, featuring the Snowball Derby last chance race, the Snowflake 100 for Pro Late Models and a 50-lap feature for the Faith Chapel Outlaws.
Finally, Sunday, December 6 brings the most prestigious event in Super Late Model racing, the Snowball Derby. Pre-race festivities begin at noon, with driver introductions at 1:15 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., the Snowball Derby begins, starting the 300-lap battle to see who will take home the Tom Dawson Trophy.
The entire week of racing will be available to watch live on Speed51.TV’s pay-per-view broadcast.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51