Jeff Choquette enters the 51st Snowball Derby as arguably the hottest driver in Super Late Model racing. After a runner-up finish in the race last year, the West Palm Beach, Florida driver hopes that momentum will help him finish one spot better in this year’s version of Late Model racing’s biggest event.
Choquette comes to Five Flags Speedway (FL) with some major wins under his belt. In October, Choquette held off Chandler Smith to win the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway (IN). Then he started November with a win in the Florida Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
Choquette hopes those wins can translate to success on the brightest stage of the sport.
“It always means a lot to carry some momentum, especially into the Snowball Derby,” Choquette told Speed51.com. “Everybody’s searching for everything they can possibly get into this race. To be riding a little bit of a hot streak and momentum, team morale, coming off some wins, it’s always a bonus.”
In 2017, Choquette had a shot at the win in the 50th Snowball Derby. However, he faded on a late green-flag run, finishing second to Kyle Busch.
Choquette hasn’t spent much time looking back on that runner-up finish, the second of his career in the Snowball Derby. He says each year is a new race with new challenges and another chance to claim the Tom Dawson Trophy.
“Last year is a totally different year,” Choquette said. “The track’s changed. Setups have changed. Tires have changed. The car has changed. Everything is completely different from year to year. We attack this year the same way we did last year. Hopefully, we step it up one more spot.”
That one spot is the only thing that matters to Choquette this week.
“You guys have done many interviews, and that’s everyone’s main goal,” Choquette said. “That’s why there’s sixty-plus cars that show up here, to get to victory lane. I don’t know what number Derby this is [for me], but every one of them I’ve come here to try to win. It would be a big one.”
Choquette says the key to picking up that win will be flexibility and adaptability throughout the week.
“Just try to keep up with the race track, try to stay prepared. The track’s going to change a lot, the weather’s going to change a lot, it’s going to rain. You just try to stay one step ahead of it like we do every place we go.
“Hopefully we can do what we did at Winchester and at the Governor’s Cup,” Choquette added. “Do what we set out to do every weekend.”
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, including qualifying night. 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 Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com