All season long, Late Model racers across the country battle at their respective race tracks and on their respective touring series with the goal of becoming a champion. At the end of the year, those champions are crowned, and then during the first week of December many of those champions make their way to Pensacola, Florida for the Snowball Derby.
Currently, eight champions from the 2015 racing season are planning on chasing a Snowball Derby win. Among those is 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion William Byron, who will be driving full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016.
“I feel like the Snowball Derby is an end of the year battle to go against guys from the Truck Series or Xfinity Series, as well as younger kids just trying to make a name for themselves in Late Models,” Byron said. “It’s awesome to be coming in as a champion after having a good year, but ultimately I have to earn my way into this race just like every driver out there.
“I feel like this race is known for growing drivers into young stars and it’ll make for a good story on Sunday if we can be battling with those guys.”
Another champion planning on making his second attempt at the Snowball Derby is 2015 CARS Tour Super Late Model champion Cole Timm. Timm is one of those young Late Model drivers trying to make a name for himself, and there’s no better place to try to do that than the most prestigious Late Model event of the year.
“Anytime you get to race against the best of the best in Late Model racing, it definitely gives you a shot to prove to yourself that you have what it takes,” said Timm. “You also have the guys coming in who have experience racing in the higher NASCAR series, so it’s really a great chance to prove yourself against the best.”
While Timm will be attempting to make his second career start in the Snowball Derby, Byron is hoping to make his first career start in the race. After a successful season in limited Super Late Model starts with his No. 9 LFR Chassis sponsored by Liberty University, he’s confident that his team will have what it takes to contend.
“I have a good amount of confidence heading there, not only because I’ve had experience in the K&N Series this year, but also with the way our select Super Late model starts have gone,” said Byron. “We haven’t finished outside the top-five with LFR Chassis in our four races together. I’m very confident in what we’ll have for a race car.”
Timm finished 18th in his first Snowball Derby start one year ago, but since that time his team has shown tremendous improvements on the race track. Going in with the confidence of being a champion will help the Mooresville, North Carolina driver, but the biggest difference this time around will be the experience he has after one start in the race.
“Last year was a big learning curve for us,” said Timm. “I had never even been there at the race track before. When you go to a big race like that and you’ve never even been to the race track before, it kind of makes it harder for you because you have to use the first hour of practice just to learn the race track. I think going back this year it’s definitely going to help us because we can put our focus on what we need to make the car better.”
Other series champions entered for the 48th Annual Snowball Derby include Southern Super Series champion Casey Smith and ARCA Midwest Tour champion Ty Majeski.
The list of track champions include Blizzard Series (Five Flags) champion Casey Roderick, Viper Series (South Alabama) champion Hunter Robbins and Mobile Int’l Speedway champion Junior Niedecken.
David Rogers, the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Florida State Champion, is also entered for the race.
The 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend kicks off with the Cat Country/WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Party on Wednesday, December 2. On-track activities start Thursday, December 3, for the opening practice rounds for the Snowball Derby Super Late Models and Snowflake 100 Pro Late Models. The Five Flags Butler U-Pull-It Bombers and Beef ‘O’Brady’s Sportsman divisions will also have feature events on Snowball Derby Thursday.
The top Snowball Derby starting spots will be set on Friday, December 4 during WXBM 102.7 Pole Night at Five Flags. The Five Flags Faith Chapel Super Stocks and Modifieds will also battle in their Snowball Derby features after Super Late Model qualifying.
The Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 takes center stage on Saturday, December 5 as the top Pro Late Model racers in the country qualify and battle for 100 laps at Five Flags. In addition, Saturday’s action features the final 50-lap qualifying event for Snowball Derby drivers to make one last effort to qualify for the 300-lap Super Late Model race. The Better Built Tool Box Pro Trucks will also have a 50-lap feature on Snowball Derby Saturday.
Then on Sunday, December 6, the green flag will drop on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby at 2 p.m. CT at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
Fans unable to make it to Pensacola, Florida for the Snowball Derby can watch all of the action through a live online TV style pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51 TV. A four-day video ticket can be purchased now for $59.99 allowing fans to watch all of the action from Five Flags Speedway. Single-day video tickets are also available. Visit Speed51.com for more information.
For more information on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway, visit www.snowballderby.com. All media credential requests and inquiries for the Snowball Derby can be sent to Matt Kentfield at [email protected] and/or Pat Bryant at [email protected]
For more information on Speed51.com and the rest of the 51 Companies, contact Jana Wimmer (Director of Business) at 51 Sports via email through [email protected] and visit Speed51.com. Speed51.com is on Twitter at @speed51dotcom and on Facebook by searching Speed51.com.
-51 Sports/Snowball Derby Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com