The quest for speed ahead of the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby began on Saturday at Five Flags Speedway, with a selection of teams and drivers bringing their equipment out to the Snowball Derby Preview. While the goal is to get ahead of the competition in terms of racecar setup, the now-annual cash incentive for a top fast lap to end the day was also a driving force.
In the Super Late Models, another son of the State of Georgia made the headlines. After local Pensacola, FL native Logan Boyett held quick time for most of the two SLM timed sessions, Hudson Halder put together a gem of a lap at 16.626 seconds. The time was a mere 0.007 seconds under Boyett’s time, but it was enough to score Halder and the No. 9 camp $500.
There are no plans to put the money in the bank though, as the cash is going towards tires come December 3-6.
“The plan today was just to get that money and be on top of the board so I could pay off some of my tires, because money is the thing here. I just need some tires, so that was the plan. Get on top, show them what we got, and get ready for the Derby. Hopefully we can do the same thing, qualify on the pole, start in the back, and go for that $25-grand,” Halder told Speed51.
As for any confidence towards the Snowball Derby, Halder is confident enough to leave the car alone for the most part between now and first practice on Thursday, December 3.
“We’ll take the momentum, we’ll leave the car the same, and make minor adjustments to it. Hopefully it goes good.”
In Pro Late Models, Ryan Luza kept up the momentum he had gained with his win at New Smyrna Speedway a week ago, with the 2015 Five Flags Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Model Series champion taking PLM quick time for $300.
John Heil had an especially profitable day, topping both the Pro Truck and Outlaw divisions, collecting $200 each. Also earning $200 each was James Patrick in the Sportsman class and Darrell McDonald in the Pure Stocks. Derrick Griffin took home the $200 for the Modifieds.
The big hard luck story of the day came in the Outlaws during the untimed test and tune sessions of the afternoon. After a crash to end what has been an otherwise brilliant season in the Wheel Man Sportsman Series, Brooke Storer found the Five Flags outside concrete after a failure of the right front suspension.
Despite her chances of being able to attempt the Outlaw portion of the Derby being hampered, she is not giving up just yet.
“Something broke in the right front. We’ll try to figure something out for the Derby in a few weeks, I had so much fun driving here today, love to come back and see what we can do.”
A number of race teams are expected to hold private test sessions at Five Flags Speedway now through November 30. After that, the next official on-track activity is the aforementioned practice day on Thursday, December 3.
Racing begins that same night with Outlaw, Sportsman, and Pure Stock features. Friday night following Super Late Model qualifying will be the Modifieds of Mayhem season finale. Saturday is the 22nd running of the Snowflake 100 for the Pro Late Models, along with 50-lap Pro Truck feature. Finally, Sunday, December 6 is the 300-lap marathon for the Super Late Models that is the 53rd Snowball Derby.
Watch all six divisions over the entire 53rd Annual Snowball Derby on Speed51.TV this December 2-6. Live video tickets for the weekend can be purchased now by clicking here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51