Speed51.com – 12/02/09 – 42nd Annual Snowball Derby coverage from Five Flags Speedway (FL) (Replay)


Welcome to Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage of the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby week.   Follow along all week and weekend as Speed 51 will provide unprecedented coverage of the Snowball Derby, Snowflake 100 and everything surrounding the action at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida – from Trackside Now live updates to radio show coverage on RaceTalkRadio.com and video highlights on Speed51Video.com.   We have you covered.


Today’s original schedule:Wed Dec 2, 2009 

9:00 am Rig Parking

11:00 am-5 pm Tech Station open

5 pm-9 pm Cat Country/WEAR-TV

6th Annual Green Flag Party 

Food, Beverages, Autographs, Band




We say original schedule as things have changed just a slight bit.On Tuesday, weather moved into the area, raining out practice for most of the day for those that had the track rented for practice.   That weather system kicked in hard overnight, bringing torrential downpours and tons of rain and wind in the area.   There were reports of tornatic activity in the Panhandle area.

We arrived here at Five Flags at 8:00am.   While it was still sprinkling a bit, the main problem is the amount of water the track area has had.   The entire tech area is under water.   We will have photos momentarily of the “Lake of Five Flags” shortly.


We were told by Tim Bryant, promoter of Five Flags Speedway, that the rig parking has been pushed back until the  water can get pumped out and the grounds dried up a bit.   Right now they are shooting for  noon to 1pm, and that they  plan to tech into the night.


Most drivers and teams are outside of the track area, but Brian Campbell made his way to the grandstand area to check things out.”That is going to take a little while,” said Campbell of the pumping of water by the tech area.   “That is where the nose of our rig is going to go.”






PHOTOS: The “Lake of Five Flags” in the infield at the track. (51 Sports Photos)


Comment From JackFlash Can you give us a weather report?


Comment From Guest Well at least its suppose to be sunny later


Later this afternoon, we should be good to go for most of the weekend.   The local channels were saying this AM that there will be a chance for overnight rain from Friday to Saturday, but other than that, we should be good to go.


Comment From cody 51 Here in mobile witch is about a hour west of five flags its sunny as of now


We do plan to have live Speed 51 Radio coverage from the Five Flags Speedway Pit Party tonight at 6:00pm Central (7:00pm Eastern) on RaceTalkRadio.com.   If we have to move that a bit due to scheduling changes here at the track, we will let you know.


Comment From cody 51 Does speed51 plan on having the best looking car contest again?


We do plan on doing the best appearing Snowball Derby car contest this year.   Stay tuned for more information.



PHOTO: An area near the sign-in building near the grandstands.   (51 Sports Photo)


Comment From Matt Well throw some bass in there and lets have us a fishing tourny while we wait.. I am from P-cola and I miss the Derby bad thanks for the coverage.. Oh and Roll Tide Roll on Saturday.. Maybe you could do a poll of the southern guys and see who they are pulling for..


Bubba Pollard made his way to the grandstands to check things out.   He said he tested here on Sunday, but it was a lot hotter than it is going to be this weekend, so really they didn’t learn much that will translate over to this weekend except maybe shaking down the car and working out any bugs.


The sky is getting a bit more blue here at Five Flags.   While the rains have pretty well stopped (a few sprinkles here and there), there is still some water in the infield, so we are in a waiting pattern to get the rigs in and parked.



PHOTO: The track is starting to dry up and the skies are getting brighter.   (51 Sports Photo)


How wet was it earlier this morning when we got here?   Check out this video we took of the grounds here at Five Flags Speedway earlier today:http://www.youtube.com/speed51video#p/u/0/cuoNevYaE-0


We just got blinded here at Five Flags Speedway, but it wasn’t from a flash bulb.   The sun has peeked out on the track.


Amazingly here at Five Flags Speedway, the track is pretty well dry without any work on that part of the grounds.   The focus though continues on the infield, and once that gets to a point where they can start bringing in the haulers, we will let you know.



PHOTO: Blue skies and the sun are out over the track grounds, including the hauler staging area, which turns into fan parking during the race weekend.   (51 Sports Photo)


Some drivers aren’t waiting until the haulers get in to work on their cars.   Donny Wilson’s team has unloaded his car in the parking lot.



PHOTO: Donny Wilson’s team in the parking lot.   (51 Sports Photo)


Comment From Dan hey MD, are you guys going to post a video of the media feature race at Fast Eddies tommorow night? i think steve wallace’s idea may help you for karting……sockets in your left pocket…left side weight! Go get um Cole Trickle


MD is out making a food run at the moment for us, but I can tell you we will have radio coverage and will try to also get video coverage.


Comment From Tim What time will rigs be allowed to come in?


We heard earlier it was going to be between noon and 1pm.   They have stopped the pumping and have somewhat cleared a path up in turn four of the vehicles, so we might be close to rigs coming in.The track surface is basically dry all the way around, including most of the access roads within the infield, but the grass areas are quite damp yet.   The sun is helping things though.


Comment From bubba where do they have the haulers parked during the delay? I’d be surprised if the parking lot can hold them all


They are in the parking lot area behind the main grandstands.   That is the staging area every year in assigned stalls so pulling into the track can be an easier task.   That area turns into fan parking during the weekend.


Comment From Guest For folks who haven’t been to 5 Flags, could you give us an idea of the track layout and banking, maybe compare it to some other short tracks so we can get a good mental image for the weekend?


The track is a 1/2-mile in length with 15 degrees of banking in the turns and nine degrees of banking on the straights.   We will have more on the track throughout the week.


Comment From Matt High banked and fast.. track surface is and has been warn out for years so times fall of fast, tires make a HUGE difference in times..


Comment From slmfan Wish I was there ,can hardly wait for sunday, keeps us posted on cassius please when ontrack activities start tomorrow.One of these years…………


It is lunch time at Five Flags Speedway, and some teams are making the most of the hour.   Stephan McCurley’s crew is one of the first that will be going into the track, and they have ordered pizza delivery, right to their hauler.


We just got the word from Tim Bryant.   They are about to start the parking of the rigs.


Before the first rig comes into the track, we want to feed you some information.Being this is only parking and tech day here at the track (and the pit party), there will not be any on-track activity.   However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a race.   The track does not allow any team to drop their trailer doors down to let their cars out and get them to tech until all trailers are in.   When the command is given, they can drop the doors and get their cars to the tech area.   This is the race of the day as many teams try to be the first few cars in line so they aren’t in line long.

Over the years, many of the teams have learned to have the car unstrapped in the rig after they park to get ready and roll their car out of the trailer quick.


The first rig has come in to the track: Stanley Smith’s trailer – car to be driven this weekend by Ryan Lawler.



PHOTO: The first rig pulling in.   (51 Sports Photo)


Comment From bob holly Yall at speed 51 do a great job. thankyou .keep up the good work


We are used to hearing the voice of Dave Pavlock here in the tower and on the speedway’s sound system call out the names of the rigs as they make their way into the track.   He was here earlier, but isn’t up here at the moment.   Come on Dave, get back to the booth!


Usually the parking takes about 90 minutes or so, but it could be a bit longer, depending on the wet infield and getting everyone in.   Once that completes, we will go right into the mad rush for the tech area.


Comment From Bob 2815 It would be great if speed channel covered this race on television. Does anyone know if they ever will?


Maybe in the future.   It is hard to tell.   The problem is sponsorship.   Companies need to see the value of Super Late Model events like the Snowball Derby.   When they do and they come on board, someone like SPEED, Versus, ESPN or other channels will jump on board to do it.   However, it is just like everything.   If there isn’t money coming in, there is no way they can justify covering it.


HOWEVER, you can see the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby and all of the other races here this weekend on DVD.   Ted Baber Video Productions has been here about seven years, recording the Derby.   About a week after the Derby weekend, you can order your copy on DVD  by  contacting Ted Baber at  [email protected].   The Derby video is  $45  and the Snowflake 100 is  $35.   Support  division videos are also available and there is a package deal  if you order all races.


Comment From Cody Can yall please put some rig pics up?




PHOTOS: Rigs are starting to fill up the front part of the pit area.   (51 Sports Photos)


Comment From Bob 2815 thankyou for the info. I would love to see it


We have heard that both Josh Hamner and Jeff Fultz, who were entered into both the Snowflake 100 and Snowball Derby, will both only race in the Snowball.


We apologize for a lack of updates over the last hour.   We snuck down to the pit area to check on a few things.   We will have some updates momentarily.


We have had a casualty already during the event.   The wind that kicked up here broke some sign mounts on a pole, which held a sign for Sunbelt Rentals, over in turns three and four.



PHOTO: a sign broke off the mounts due to the wind.   (51 Sports Photo)


Johnny Sauter is in the house. He will not be racing in the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby. He will be crew chiefing for NASCAR Camping World Truck racer Brian Scott.   Scott is piloting a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry.



PHOTO: Johnny Sauter (left) and Brian Scott (right).   (51 Sports Photo)


We all know that Kyle Busch goes by the nickname of “Rowdy,” but maybe it should be “Snake Handler” instead.   While the drivers and teams wait out the parking of the rigs, Busch found a new friend – a snake.One of our observers saw Brian Ickler backing away from it, so we now know what to get him for Christmas.



PHOTO: A snake Kyle Busch found in the infield here at Five Flags Speedway.   (Kyle Busch Photo)


Comment From Sean LeMaster You guys are doin an awesome job with the updates! It’s great for a local FL racer to be able to keep up with the goings on while at work, wishin I was there! Thanks again.


The parking has been a bit slow due to a few rigs getting stuck in the mud during the parking process.   We are still a bit under halfway with many rigs still outside of the track.



PHOTO: A hauler got a bit stuck in the mud while trying to park.   (51 Sports Photo)


Jeremy Colangelo has already been kicked out by Ricky Brooks.Brooks is helping park the rigs, and the rig Colangelo’s team is using is a lot longer than the spot they had reserved.   Due to it going over onto the tech road, Brooks told the team to move the rig.   It appears he was kicked to the back of the pits.

Colangelo is hoping that buys him a mulligan during the teching process.


Comment From Brandon Is the track still expecting to get all cars thru tech today?


According to what we heard last, the teching will occur through the evening and into the night as needed.



PHOTO: Alex Haase took this photo of Speed 51’s Jason “Stix” Buckley and insisted it go on Trackside Now.   (Alex Haase Photo)


Comment From Steve Horton Keep up the great work guys!!!! It’s nice to keep up with whats going on at the track from work here in Birmingham Al. I will be heading South In the Morning.


Comment From midwest fan Love to see some of the midwest talent bring back the trophy this year. Im pullin for Brian Campbell he is great at berlin and that is the one of the other tracks that just eats up tires, If he can stay out of trouble watch out my pick to win


Another NASCAR connection is here at the track.   Speed 51’s Elgin “Stat Boy” Traylor bumped into Scott Speed down on the track.   He is here supporting Kyle Busch and hanging out.   Rumor is he was down trolling the pits for Brian Scott’s autograph.Speed said he was “out of his league,” which is why he is here to watch and not participate.   An unidentified team source said Speed is here for KBM as fashion police.



PHOTO: Uh oh.   Someone’s back trailer gate was down a bit early.   The team put it back up though within minutes of us seeing it down.   (51 Sports Photo)


Comment From Jeff is this track similar to Toledo Speedway? I kind of looks like it from some overhead photos I have seen. Could you possibly ask someone like Kyle Busch or Scott Hantz who has raced on them before? Love the updates!!


In Response to your question: Hey, it’s MD here. Speed51 Radio and RaceTalkRadio.com did a race in August from Toledo Speedway. It was my first time at Toledo.    The first few laps on the track I said to myself that it was just likFive Flags here in Pensacola.   Scott Hantz won the CRA Super Series race that night and told us in the post  race show that it indeed was similar.   Lightning quick and super-racey


Dave Pavlock has been here and there.   Usually he is calling out the names of the drivers as their rigs pull in the track, but when they started, he was not on the track grounds as he was getting a permit for a few things.   We will let it slide this time, but we missed hearing the names as they came into the track.


By the way, the snake we showed earlier in our coverage found by Kyle Busch is a snake type we are not sure of, so we took a vote in the booth, and we are naming it the Busch Snake, indigenous to Five Flags Speedway.


There are about 25 to 30 rigs that need to make their way into the track for parking.


For those wondering about the “lake” back by the tech area, it has all but gone.



PHOTO: The left image is from 8am this morning.   The right is from 2pm this afternoon.   (51 Sports Photos)


Comment From sportsman12 That pic in turn 3 is where they put us sportsman cars tomorrow in the a.m. Been there before when its wet and let me tell you it is mud hole..not fun at all..


Comment From R. J. Scott CRA Chief Technical Inspector Eddie Chew is down there helping Ricky Brooks for the first time…can you give him a hard time and get a picture of his ZZ Top beard?


Stix here: I spent a few minutes chatting with Eddie Chew down by the track.   He said he is down here to learn how Ricky Brooks does things to help all series get on the same page to help the racers.


Comment From Jeff Thanks for the info. MD….so, who is “Mr. Irrelevant” this year-the last car into the pits……(that is what they call the last guy drafted in the NFL for those who do not know…”


We are not sure, but we will try to find out.


We are taking a break from the PC for a bit again and heading to the pits.   We will be back shortly.


We have had “Trailer Gate” here at Five Flags Speedway.Teams are not supposed to drop the back gate on their trailers until everyone gets parked, but a few here and there have been cracking their gates.   Down by the turn one end, a few trailers put their gates all the way down, and in the case of the #10 Johanna Long team, the car was rolled out on the gate, ready to be lowered.   However, an official came over and told everyone to put their cars back into the haulers and shut the doors.



PHOTO: Johanna Long’s car was unloaded a bit early, but has been put back in the hauler.   (51 Sports Photo)


We have been told it will be another 10 minutes and the gates will be allowed to drop and the rush to tech will occur.   We will be back with more shortly.


Comment From mike can u guys get more pics up of the teams and the drivers?


We will throughout the weekend.   Most drivers and teams were just bundled up and not hanging around their cars since they weren’t loaded.   We will be here all week, so stay tuned for more photos, and videos, during our coverage.


At approximately 4:45pm to 4:50pm, the cars were allowed to make their way to the tech area.   The first car to the tech area was the Super Late Model of Stephan McCurley, who was the first person there last year.   The first Pro Late Model was Elliott Massey.



PHOTO: Stephan McCurley (left) and Elliott Massey (right) were the first two cars in the tech line.   (51 Sports Photo)


At 6pm Central (7pm Eastern), we will go live with our Speed 51 Radio show here in the infield at Five Flags Speedway during the pit party.   It will be live on www.RaceTalkRadio.com.   Make sure to tune in for that as we will be talking about the day’s action so far and what is yet to come, and we expect a few drivers to show up.


We are in the process of moving a few things down for the radio show.   We will have an update or two before the show starts.


The tech lines are moving for both the Snowball Super Late Models and the Snowflake Pro Late Models, but there is still a ton of cars waiting to be teched.


We are close to the start of our Speed 51 Radio show.   We will be live here in about four minutes.   We will be back on Trackside Now sometime after the radio show with photos and more coverage from tech day here at Five Flags Speedway.GO TO WWW.RACETALKRADIO.COM AND CLICK THE LISTEN LIVE BUTTON AT 6:00PM CENTRAL


We are back at the keys here.   Tech is still going on, but the drivers are being intertained by a local band and maybe even a few alcoholic beverages.


We will have photos from our radio show up momentarily.



PHOTO: Hunter Robbins on Speed 51 Radio.   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: Bubba Pollard on 51 Radio.   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: From left to right: Stat Boy, Twist, Johanna Long, MD and Bubba Pollard.   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: Stix and Chase Elliott.   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: Mike Twist and Steve Wallace.   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: James Buescher on Speed 51 Radio. (51 Sports Photo)


Before we close out our coverage for the night, we have a few more photos we will put in from the night.



PHOTO: Tyler Millwood passed the time in the tech line by playing baseball on his cell phone.   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: Jeff Choquette found a ride his size (we kid).   (51 Sports Photo)



PHOTO: The band playing during the pit party.   (51 Sports Photo)


Tech is expected to continue for quite a while, so we are going to go ahead and sign off for the night and come back early tomorrow morning with any news and information from tech, including a car count and who is here.Thanks to the near 1500 people that followed along today during our tech day at Five Flags Speedway.   Come back Thursday early morning for updates from the track and more coverage from the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby, right here on Speed51.com.

Trackside Now: Rig Parking, Tech and Pit Party for 42nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway 12/2/09