Perhaps no driver has had worse luck during the 2015 racing season than Donnie Wilson. He’s been fast at almost every single race he’s gone to, but if something could go wrong it has. The Oklahoma driver is now hoping to turn his luck around in the biggest short track race of them all, the 48th Annual Snowball Derby at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
“We’ve been fast these past five or six races that we’ve run,” Wilson said. “We’ve just had terrible luck. And that’s what it boils down to. We just need to have some luck on our side.”
Wilson was one of the best cars the last time Super Late Models roared around Five Flags in the Southern Super Series finale in September before an ignition issue ended his chances at a win. He had one of the best cars in the Winchester 400 a couple of weeks ago before crashing hard with under 100 laps remaining.
So if you happen to find Wilson searching the Five Flags property for a four-leaf clover or a penny with heads turned up, you’ll understand why.
“I don’t know if it’s the Wilson name or what,” he said. “I’ve always been stricken with bad luck my whole racing career. We’ll just keep digging. That’s all we can do. We can only make sure everything is good on the car. Just a little bit of luck. That’s all we need.”
Wilson has made six Snowball Derby starts. He’s scored one top five and two top-10 finishes, with his best finish coming in 2010 when he finished second after leading 24 laps.
A win at the Derby is huge for anybody, but it would be gigantic for Wilson. Not only is he hoping to turn his luck around, but he wants to win one for the little guys.
“It would be really special for someone like me,” said Wilson. “We do everything on our own. We’re not a big team. I’ve got a lot of guys that I bring from here that do it because they like to help me. It’s a small team trying to compete with the more funded teams.”
The 44-year-old driver has said he’s been thinking about seeing his name on that Tom Dawson trophy for a long time. He’s not getting any younger, he said, so every year he doesn’t win it would make finally achieving it that much more special.
“To win the biggest race of the year and the biggest race in Super Late Model racing, to have your name on that would just be awesome,” he said. “Not many people do it so to win it would be special. I’m an older guy. I’m not a 20-year-old kid. My time is getting limited.”
Perhaps this is finally the year for Donnie Wilson. We’ll find out on Sunday, December 6.
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 the 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway, visit www.snowballderby.com. All media credential requests and inquiries for the Snowball Derby can be sent to Matt Kentfield at [email protected] and/or Pat Bryant at [email protected].
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-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com