Scott Carlson Goes Back-to-Back In Blizzard Series Round Four
Pensacola Native and Businessman Takes One Step Closer to Snowball Derby Starting Spot
Scott Carlson edged ever closer to a starting spot in the Snowball Derby with a victory in Blizzard Series round four. (51 Photos)
Scott Carlson has never won the prestigious Snowball Derby.
But the Pensacola, FL Super Late Model driver made a powerful statement Friday that he's poised to make potentially his strongest run ever come December at Five Flags Speedway.
Carlson powered past Ryan Crane with eight laps remaining to capture the Miller Chill 100, the fourth of five races in the 2007 Blizzard Series. It was Carlson's second-consecutive victory in the series, which guarantees provisional starting spots to the top two Blizzard points winners in the 40th Snowball Derby on December 2nd.
Crane, from Panama City, FL, entered the 100-lap event with the championship points lead, and finished second. Pole-sitter Augie Grill of Dolomite, AL, was third to the stripe but was disqualified in post-race inspection. Pensacola's Eddie Mercer, the 2005 Snowball Derby champion, battled back from mid-race problems and was credited with a third-place finish.
"That was a heck of a race," Carlson, owner of Fast Eddie's Fun Center in Pensacola, said in Victory Lane. "This car was really going tonight. The guys did a great job on this car. It's a big team effort, especially with our great sponsors.
"I wish I could be standing here when the Snowball Derby comes."
Carlson, the outside pole-sitter, first showed his muscle when he roared past Crane coming out of turn four on Lap 34 to grab the lead. Four laps later, Carlson enjoyed a 10-car-length lead before a spin by Casey Smith of Austin, Texas, brought out the first of five caution flags.
Crane fought back from damage to his front-left fender caused when another driver made contact with him at the entrance to pit road.
"We had to go to the back" after repairing the fender, Crane said. "But we worked our way back up to the front. It was a pretty good run for us. I wish we could have stayed up front, but it didn't last."
Grill had won the Miller Chill 100 pole on September 1st with a fast lap of 104-plus miles per hour at the famed half-mile Five Flags Speedway. He had to wait a week to lead a revised 23-car field to the green flag after a fireworks spectacular.
Grill's garage built at least six of the cars in Friday's race.
Ryan Crane leads the Blizzard Series points with just one event remaining before the Snowball Derby.
"The field was pretty tough out there," Grill said before his post-race disqualification. "I got messed up after we got new tires. I got hung up out there on the outside, and four or five cars got by us. But I'll take a third-place with all four fenders on the car."
Mercer started third but quickly fell back in the field. Earlier in the week, he discovered a problem with his black number-72 car's brakes. It appeared that perhaps that problem had resurfaced midway through the race, but his crew got him out of the pits late in the race in the top five, and he held off Chris Davidson of Pearland, Texas, who moved up to fourth place after Grill's DQ.
The scariest crash of the night occurred on a restart on lap 84 when David Hole of Cumming, GA, collided with the car of Ken McFarland of Hoover, AL, in turn one, sending both vehicles into the concrete retaining wall. McFarland was unhurt after smacking head-first into the wall.
With the victory, Carlson moved to within five points of Justin Drawdy for second-place in Blizzard Series points and a guaranteed starting spot in the Snowball Derby. Crane holds a 25-point advantage over Drawdy atop the standings with one event remaining.
"Hopefully this moved us closer to the top,” said Carlson. “I hope we don't have to use a provisional (in the Derby) if we do get one. I hope we can keep this car running as good as it was tonight."
MILLER CHILL 100
BIZZARD SERIES SUPER LATE MODELS
Five Flags Speedway
September 7, 2007
1. Scott Carlson
2. Ryan Crane
3. Eddie Mercer
4. Chris Davidson
5. Justin Drawdy
6. Donald Long
7. Grant Enfinger
8. Matt Merrill
9. Kurt Jett
10. Josh Hamner
11. Dale Little
12. Casey Smith
13. Michael Phelps
14. Jason Young
15. Bubba Pollard
16. Heath Hindman
17. Hunter Robbins
18. David Hole
19. Ken McFarland
20. Steven Davis
21. Donnie Wilson
22. Ron Joyner