Saturday, December 2 marks the night before the 50th running of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL), otherwise known as Snowball Derby Eve. While the evening will feature the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 for the Pro Late Models, it will be another great class of race cars (trucks) that will have the honor of being the last race before the Derby.
Once again this year the Pro Truck division will close out the support racing portion of the Derby with a 50-lap feature event. While entries are still coming into the Five Flags Speedway (FL) office, the field for 2017 is already showing its strength.
Okie Mason, one of the favorites from the State of Alabama, comes into this year’s race with a 50-lap feature win during Snowball Derby week on his resume. However, his win was not in the Pro Trucks divisions, but instead in the Outlaw Stocks.
For 2017, Mason looks to add a Pro Truck trophy to his trophy case, and he has already gotten down to business to make it happen.
“We went and tested Saturday (during the Snowball Derby Preview). We were decent, wasn’t where we need to be but that’s why you go test,” Mason told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We’ll come back next week and see what we can improve on and get a little bit better. We’re planning on going for a win. I feel I have as good a chance as the others that running out there.”
As in previous years, the Pro Trucks have already attracted some drivers from the Late Model ranks, with Mason eager to prove his metal against them.
“It’s very stout, it’s getting better every year. I noticed we got a few Late Model drivers in there. We had Bubba Pollard run in the past, now we got a couple more this year; DJ VanderLey, Logan Boyett and probably going to get a few more. It’s a great class, very close strength, that’s what I love about the Trucks. I love to compete against some of the best and see where you stack up.”
Mason will also compete in the Outlaw Stocks on Thursday night as well. In the Pro Trucks, Mason will also have to contend with a stout corps of Five Flags regulars including 2016 Snowball Derby Pro Truck feature winner Jarrett Parker, who like Mason is also getting some time on track before race day.
“We have the track rented this Saturday along with some of the Late Model drivers. We got to see what we can do to find some more speed; we have a lot of tough people out there this year,” Parker stated. “We’re pretty happy with the truck, but we feel there’s a little bit more we can do. Honestly, we’ll never be completely happy.”
Parker ran second in the Five Flags points this year, but things might have been different had he avoided engine failure on opening night in March. Parker did notch out three wins during the season, giving him momentum as he approaches the big race in December.
“If we hadn’t blown up the motor, we would’ve won in the points by a landslide. But we didn’t care about the points. We were running the Truck and Late Model one night, first lap of practice with the Truck, we disintegrated a rod and I didn’t get to race that night. We just went for wins from there.”
As for their game plan, not much has changed from 2016 to 2017, except to get out front even earlier.
“We’ll try to do everything like we did last year; stay out front as much as we can, keep our nose clean, hopefully lead more laps this year and be in front for the one that counts.”
To keep up with the latest entries for the Pro Trucks and all divisions at the Snowball Derby, visit the “entries” page on Speed51.com’s Schaeffer’s Snowball Central.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com