For the past few seasons, Jeremy Doss has been considered one of the top Super Late Model racers on the West Coast. While his name may not be a household name to short track racing fans throughout the country, he’s hoping to change that on December 6 when he makes his first attempt at qualifying for the prestigious Snowball Derby.
Doss will make the trip to Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway to compete in the 48th running of the race.
“It means everything to get the chance to compete in the Snowball Derby,” Doss said. “I feel like if you can compete in that race, it pretty much says that you’re one of the best. Just making the race would be super cool.”
Although Doss has had his eye on competing in the race over the course of the last few years, this was the year everything came together for him to file an entry.
“Just a bunch of sponsors and whatnot,” Doss said. “I’ve been wanting to go for a few years now and could never make it work. We finally got enough sponsors and it all lined up for it to happen this year.”
Doss’ record on the West Coast during the last three years has been one of the most impressive among Late Model drivers in that region. The Upper Lake, California driver scored four wins in six races on the Pacific Challenge Series this year. He also has a total of four wins with the SRL Southwest Tour while finishing runner-up to Derek Thorn in the standings in both 2013 and 2014.
Thorn has made the Snowball Derby on two occasions and has recorded finishes of ninth and third. As Doss watched Thorn’s success from home, he said that it gave him hope that West Coast drivers could be competitive in the race.
“I race with Derek all of the time and we’re able to compete with him, so I think we can go down there and show these guys what we’ve got,” Doss said. “On the West Coast you don’t get much publicity out here, so I think going over to the East Coast, especially if you have a good run, it really says something.”
Doss has never previously competed at the challenging Five Flags Speedway, but he will have some good guidance and information heading into the busy week. One of the most successful Super Late Model racers in the country recently showed him around the Pensacola oval.
“I was down there for that last Blizzard race with Bubba Pollard and he showed me around the track,” Doss explained. “We met him when he came to run Kern and at Washington. He’s been a bunch of help ever since.”
In addition, Doss will also be receiving assistance from Brannon Earnest of Earnest Performance, who sells and services JRi Shocks while offering at-track advising.
“We’ve also got Brannon Earnest helping us out to give us an idea of what it’s going to be like. We’re going to use all of the information we’ve got and do our best.”
Before going 300 laps on Sunday, December 6 Doss will have to travel more than 2,500 miles from his home in California to the panhandle of Florida. Lucky for him, he’ll be making the trip in the air while a crew-member drives the hauler to the race track.
In addition to racing for the Tom Dawson trophy, Doss will also be competing against fellow West Coast drivers for the $551 bounty put up by Speed51.com. The highest finishing driver from the West Coast, as well as the Northeast and Midwest, will be the recipients of the bonus.
“It definitely helps for sure,” Doss said. “Any extra cash definitely helps with us making the trip and hopefully we’re the ones taking the money back west.”
The 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend kicks off with the Cat Country/WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Party on Wednesday, December 2. On-track activities start Thursday, December 3, for the opening practice rounds for the Snowball Derby Super Late Models and Snowflake 100 Pro Late Models. The Five Flags Butler U-Pull-It Bombers and Beef ‘O’Brady’s Sportsman divisions will also have feature events on Snowball Derby Thursday.
The top Snowball Derby starting spots will be set on Friday, December 4 during WXBM 102.7 Pole Night at Five Flags. The Five Flags Faith Chapel Super Stocks and Modifieds will also battle in their Snowball Derby features after Super Late Model qualifying.
The Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 takes center stage on Saturday, December 5 as the top Pro Late Model racers in the country qualify and battle for 100 laps at Five Flags. In addition, Saturday’s action features the final 50-lap qualifying event for Snowball Derby drivers to make one last effort to qualify for the 300-lap Super Late Model race. The Better Built Tool Box Pro Trucks will also have a 50-lap feature on Snowball Derby Saturday.
Then on Sunday, December 6, the green flag will drop on the 48th Annual Snowball Derby at 2 p.m. CT at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
For more information on Speed51.com and the rest of the 51 Companies, contact Jana Wimmer (Director of Business) at 51 Sports via email through [email protected] and visit Speed51.com. Speed51.com is on Twitter at @speed51dotcom and on Facebook by searching Speed51.com.
-51 Sports/Snowball Derby Press Release. Photo credit: Rex Emerson