The 2019 Blizzard Series title comes down to a 150-lap event Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway in the final Super Late Model race at the Pensacola, FL facility before the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby in December. The top three in the point standings are separated by just three points, with a surprise driver leading the way going into Saturday night’s finale.
Lucas Jones leads the way in the Blizzard Series points standings on the heels of twotop-five finishes and a ninth in the first three races of the four-race “Road to the Snowball Derby.” The Mooresville, NC driver made his Five Flags Speedway debut inthe finale one year ago, finishing 11th in a stacked field. Despite having the points lead going into Saturday night’s race, his mind is not focused on points, but rather agood run.
“I’m very confident that this weekend is definitely our best shot yet only because of the experience we’ve had at the track so far,” Jones said on Speed51’s The Morning Bullring. “Running that race in September last year, I felt pretty confident about it until we got some late-race damage. The hard part about down there is qualifying and making sure you can put down those fast laps because there’s qualifying points too. That’s big for us too, getting as many points as we can throughout the whole night. At the same time, you can’t dwell on the points factor, you just got to go out there and have a great night of racing and do the best we can.”
After competing mainly on the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South circuit for several years, Jones’ only starts in 2019 have come at Five Flags Speedway. A big factor playing into the decision to run in the Blizzard Series came from the possibility of anautomatic starting spot in the Snowball Derby. That decision has proved to be fruitful as the North Carolina driver is sitting in the catbird seat going into the final race.
“I believe we’ve grown our team a lot over the past four races, our setup and how we feel about the whole Pensacola track in general,” he said.” “I’m really stoked to be getting back down there. The start of the year we really just wanted to run the Blizzard races because we couldn’t really race up here because we’re renting a car out to a fellow driver. We didn’t really think we’d be in this spot, we just thought if the opportunity arose to possibly run the Derby or get the provisional for the Derby that it would be cool. Sitting in this position right now is kind of weird but I’m really excited to be in this position.”
Jones credits his run in the Blizzard Series to the help his team has received, both from Fury Racecars and former drivers with Five Flags Speedway success alike.
“It’s really fortunate for us to have the help that we’ve had,” he stated. “We’ve hadTony (Eury) Jr. come down and help us a few times, we had Johanna (Long) Robbins spotting for us and helping us out and Hunter came down and helped us too. We’re just really fortunate to have people behind me.”
Championship or not, Jones is satisfied with how the season has gone to this point down at the Sunshine State half-mile. He feels confident that his team has what it takes to use what they have learned and compete in the biggest Super Late Model race in the country come the first weekend in December.
“In my mind and with the race car, just thinking about what we can do better, that’sthe main reason we ran these Blizzard Series races,” he said. “We’ve grown each time even if the finish wasn’t always there. I feel like we’ve grown our setup to the point of we know when we go down there, we know what we’re doing and the setup in the car is going to work well. It’s a race I’ve always dreamed about running and I’m really excited, hopefully this year we can hopefully run it.”
Race fans unable to make it to Five Flags Speedway this Saturday night for the Blizzard Series finale will be able to watch all of the racing via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com