With the season’s champions crowned and December fast approaching, Five Flags Speedway (FL) is shifting gears to prepare for the most anticipated short track event of the year: the 51st Snowball Derby.


Pensacola’s famous half-mile oval will welcome the crème de la crème of Super Late Model teams traveling from around the country in hopes of winning $25,000 and a spot on the prestigious Tom Dawson trophy.


Keeping the tradition alive, the 51st edition of the Snowball Derby will be held on the first Sunday of December and feature 300 laps of action, including live pit stops.


“There is a lot of hype for this year’s Snowball Derby, and we’re already in fast forward working to make it a good experience for both the fans and competitors alike. The entry list looks strong already, and advanced ticket sales are ahead of last year’s pace, said Snowball Derby Promoter and Five Flags Speedway General Manager Tim Bryant.  “One inquiry we’ve had, is about the format of this years race, and it will be unchanged from years past. While we recognize and certainly don’t like the added cost for the teams who choose to hire pit crews, the live stops have become a fan favorite element in the Derby, so we’re not changing it for this year’s race.”


Also returning to action this year is the Pure Stock division, which will kick off the racing portion of Snowball Derby week with a 50-lap feature at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 28.  The Outlaw Stocks and Sportsmen compete for a combined total of 100 laps on Thursday at 8 p.m. CT.


On Friday evening, the Modified B-Main and 75-lap feature share the spotlight with the all-important Snowball Derby qualifying for Super Late Models, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. CT.


Saturday’s activity-packed schedule begins with Pro Truck and Snowflake qualifying in the afternoon, followed by the Snowflake and Snowball 50-lap qualifiers.  Feature racing begins at 7 p.m. CT with the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 and ends with the 50-lap Pro Truck race.


When the clock strikes 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, North America’s best Super Late Model racers will begin a 150-mile pursuit around Five Flags Speedway to become the next person to kiss the Tom Dawson trophy as Snowball Derby champion.


There’s no better way to experience the 51st Annual Snowball Derby than by making the trip to the Gulf Coast and witnessing history unfold in the flesh.


Tickets are still available for purchase but are expected to sell out by the week of the event.  More information can be found at 5FlagsSpeedway.com or calling by the office at (850) 944-8400.


-Story by Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Things Are Gearing up for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby