In five short years, the Pro Truck race on Snowball Derby weekend has become one of the best shows of the weekend. Each year, the field has been filled with crafty veterans and eager rookies who are seeking Snowball Derby glory. For the 51st Annual Snowball Derby next week, race fans can expect much of the same at Five Flags Speedway.
Last year, a couple of crafty Late Model drivers dueled for the victory with DJ VanderLey coming out on top over Anderson Johnson and Super Late Model journeyman Logan Boyett.
VanderLey, the 2010 and 2011 track champion at Five Flags in the Pro Late Model class, took some time off away from the seat and received a rewarding opportunity one year ago.
“I felt like Popeye with a big arm holding on to that thing last year,” Boyett said. “We came from the back and finished third in a race that was a lot of fun. This year we spent a lot time seeing what will work and what won’t for that race.”
Boyett won the Five Flags Speedway Pro Truck points championship in the Gerald and Melissa Boyd machine with four wins in nine starts. The Pensacola, Florida driver will be doing the unconventional double duty with the truck race and the Snowball Derby on Sunday.
“This will be my first Derby with Fathead Racing and Jamie Yelton,” Boyett explained. “We are aiming to get a drivable car like we had in 2015. That year we never worked on a mock run. If your car drives good enough you can make the race. We just want to be in it and be there at the end.”
Also in the mix for Saturday night’s Pro Truck race will be Texas native Colt James who now hails from North Carolina. James will be running the family truck out of Texas, in addition to competing in the Snowflake 100.
“The Pro Truck race is as big as the Snowball Derby for the guys who run trucks,” James said. “It’s such a competitive field of drivers who put on some good racing and still know how to get things done.”
The veterans in the field will be led by Bubba Gale who is a 1985 Late Model champion at Five Flags Speedway. Gale competed in a few Snowball Derby’s in the 90’s, but has now shifted his focus over to the trucks.
“I have been doing this all my life,” Gale said. “I am looking forward to the race. We are going to have a throwback paint scheme on the truck from when I won several championships at Mobile.”
Gale perviously set fast time in a Modified race at the Derby and he has wins in Super Stock and Super Six classes on Derby weekend. This makes Gale one of the most experienced drivers in the field.
“Five Flags is special to me because we won our first championship the same year my son Cale was born.”
Cale Gale, a two-time Snowball Derby polesitter will be in the pits helping his dad.
The 50-lap Pro Truck feature will be held on Saturday, December 1 following the Snowflake 100.
Race fans unable to attend the 51st Annual Snowball Derby in person will be able to watch a pay-per-view broadcast all week long on Speed51.com. Five-day video tickets can be purchased now for $74.99 ($35 savings) to watch all of the action. Click here to purchase your video ticket today.
The 51st Annual Snowball Derby will take place on Wednesday, November 28 through Sunday, December 2 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. For more information regarding the event, visit Snowball Central presented by Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com