For many years now, the Snowball Derby has provided aspiring race car drivers the chance to compete against the best of the best in Late Model racing and beyond. This year at the 48th Annual Snowball Derby, that will be now different as there are a number of young guns attempting to make the biggest short track race of the season.
17-year-old Spencer Davis and 16-year-old Kaz Grala are two of those young drivers in Pensacola, Florida this year.
Davis has been to the Snowball Derby before and has experienced the highs and low of Derby week. This year is the 48th Annual Snowball Derby, but for Davis it is his fourth attempt at the Derby. In his previous three attempts he’s made the race just once with a highest finish of 24th in 2013.
“My main goal is the same as everyone else’s and that’s just to make the race,” said Davis. “Then I want to go out there and have a top 10 run. 300 laps is a lot of laps so the first thing you have to do is finish the race. We’ve finished before so I’d really like to finish in the top 10. My dream is obviously to win. Everyone has a good chance once you make the race. Every car can definitely win.”
Grala, meanwhile, has never been to the Snowball Derby, but this year he’ll be pulling double-duty running the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 on Saturday, December 5, the night before the Snowball Derby on Sunday, December 6.
But before Grala can take the green flag in either of those races, he has to qualify his way into the two races. Before he can even do that he first has to learn how to drive Five Flags Speedway in a Late Model.
“I’ve only been there once in a K&N East car last year,” said Grala. “I remember that it’s a pretty quick track and I remember that it’s pretty abrasive. I’m sure the abrasiveness of the track is going to be pretty important in that race. But from what I’ve figured out at other tracks with these East cars, they’re a lot different than a Late Model. Everything that I’ve kind of learned at Pensacola in an East car I’ll think about in the Late Model, but chances are it’ll be like I’m showing up to a track for the first time. It’s going to drive quite different from a K&N car.”
Grala will be racing the Snowflake for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and will be racing the Derby for Chet Morrison. Grala at first didn’t even have a ride for the Derby, but that changed in the late stages of planning.
“We weren’t planning on doing the Snowball until just recently,” Grala said. “My K&N crew said they knew a guy with a Late Model that said they’d be happy to prepare it for me if I wanted to run the Snowball. We asked KBM if that was alright. They said I could jump into whatever car I’d like.”
Both drivers have the same goal in mind, and that’s just to make the race on NASH 102.7 FM Pole Night on Friday, December 4.
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