Chris Davidson hails from Pearland, Texas, which sits over 500 miles from Florida’s Five Flags Speedway. On Saturday night, Davidson hopes to take the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Championship back to the Lone Star State.
Davidson enters Saturday’s Blizzard Series/Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series finales as the points leader in the Pro Late Models with a 20-point edge over Grant Thompson. He led off the 2020 Allen Turner PLM season with his first win at Five Flags in 20-plus years of competition.
It’s that competition that brings him to the Gulf Coast time and time again.
“Hell, it’s essentially my home track. It’s actually the closest place we have to race. It’s 500 miles each way,” Davidson told Speed51’s “The Bullring.” “I think it’s like anywhere, you see guys come from around the country. Trucks, Outlaws, Modifieds, Late Models. If you want to see how good you are, that’s the one place you can figure it out.”
The Night of Champions #2 is normally held in September, but this year’s event was postponed to this weekend due to damage the facility suffered at the hands of Hurricane Sally. It now puts the finale for both Late Model classes just over a month before the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby. Even with the closer date to the crown jewel weekend, Davidson says the track still won’t be comparable to Derby weekend.
“I think with the Derby, I won’t say it’s completely different but it’s significantly different come Derby weekend than it is the rest of the year. I think the main thing is the temperature. There’s tremendously more amount of rubber on the racetrack come race time than we’re used to dealing with.”
Not very many drivers in all of asphalt racing put more miles into attending races year after year than Davidson, along with the 1,000-plus mile roundtrip to Five Flags Speedway several times a year. COVID-19 restrictions have limited his travel this year, but he has still traveled to California, Missouri, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia to take part in races. Last season saw him add trips to Tennessee, Washington and Canada to race.
While being an asphalt racer out of Texas requires him to travel to compete, it’s one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport for Davidson.
“We like to travel, we like to go all over. I like to try new places, this year we weren’t that fortunate so next year we’re going to go wherever. The SRL (Southwest Tour) races, the race up in Canada (Canadian Short Track Nationals), the Summer Showdown. It’s because it’s different.
“When you go to the same tracks week after week, it’s refreshing to go somewhere new and race with new guys,” he added. “To be perfectly honest with you guys, when we go west we get treated very well. They’re very inviting, it makes it enjoyable to go back.”
He sits in a comfortable spot to clinch his first Allen Turner Pro Late Model title Saturday night and lock himself a spot in the upcoming Snowflake 100. While he has the championship on his mind, his main focus is turned to bookending the season with wins.
“I think we’re in the same mindset as everybody else who pulls through the gates, we want to win the race. It’s the only reason everybody shows up.”
Saturday’s racing card at Five Flags Speedway will be broadcasted live on Speed51.TV. Click here to purchase your PPV ticket and watch both the Blizzard and Allen Turner Pro Late Model races.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo