Trackside Now: 40th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway - Wednesday
Haulers Are In, Tech Has Closed For The Night and the Band is Rockin' the Pit Party
Wednesday, 5:30pm CT – The Green Flag Pit Party, which was scheduled to start at 5:00pm, appears to be a bit behind schedule, but the band is getting set up on the stage just inside the pit wall on the front stretch, so it shouldn't be too long before the air is filled with music. Some teams are still working on their racecars in the pit area while others have loaded their machines up for the night. A crowd is gathering on the frontstretch pit road in anticipation of the start of this party.

Wednesday, 5:00pm CT – Richie Wauters, owner of the #66 that Steven Wallace will pilot, will be a little safer at the Derby this year thanks to Eddie Mercer.  Mercer is trading out a golf cart with Richie Wauters that might keep the car owner out of trouble during this year’s pit party. Last year, Wauters was a passenger when driver Frank Bolter flipped their golf cart on pit road during the party. Nobody was injured in the wreck, but people throughout the pit area still get a laugh over the incident. 
 
“It’s a little lower to the ground so hopefully it won’t flip over this time,” said Mercer with a grin. 
 
“With Frank not here tonight and Eddie giving us a new cart, I think we will be fine,” joked Wauters.

Wednesday, 5:00pm CT – Tech has closed here at the speedway.  Tech officials told Speed51.com that approximately 120 cars went through the tech line, which includes both the Snowball Derby Super Late Models and the Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model cars.

While officials also told Speed51.com that the process went fairly smooth, they closed off the tech line about 10 minutes prior to the original 5:00pm time frame, which caught some teams off guard.  A few teams were seen thrashing to make changes to their car before the tech line closed so they could pass inspection.  Now they have to wait until tomorrow morning to roll back through the line.

Wednesday, 3:20pm CT – Cars, cars and more cars. The car count is great!  Exactly how many cars are here for the Snowflake and Snowball Derby? Actually, Speed51.com and Five Flags Speedway do not know the tally yet. Officials are compiling the list of competitors as the cars roll through tech and pick up their transponders. After tech is complete the track will get us the complete list and we will post it on Speed51.com as soon as we can.

Wednesday, 3:00pm CT –  Cars are still unloading from trailers here.  Some crews have decided to wait until the tech line has dwindled to pull their cars out and go through tech.  The track announcer notified the drivers that the tech line will close no later than 6:00pm.

We are just two hours to the start of the Pit Party, where the fans can meet the drivers participating in the 40th Annual Snowball Derby weekend.

Wednesday, 2:45pm CT –  Plenty of big names are at the derby. 

Kyle "Rowdy" Busch will be making his return to the Derby driving his #51 Super Late Model this weekend.  Jason Hogan will be practicing and qualifying his car while Busch will be at the NASCAR awards banquet in New York.

Steven Wallace, son of NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, won the 2005 Derby and will attempt to get in the big show this weekend in the Richie Wauters prepared #66 machine. 

2007 NASCAR Busch East Series Champion Joey Logano willl be making his first Snowball attempt.  Stanley Smith will attempt to put his car in the field while Logano is at the NASCAR awards banquet in New York.

Other notables for you NASCAR fans include Cale Gale, Richard Johns, last year's Snowball champion Clay Rogers and A.J. Foyt IV.

Wednesday, 2:15pm CT –  The tech line has shrunk considerably. Things appear to be going smoothly thus far. Speed51 will take a break now to walk around the infield and find out more scoop.

Wednesday, 1:50pm CT –  Benny Gordon rolled out a pretty wild looking #1 car. The car is owned by Tracy Goodson. Gordon, the 2005 Pro Cup Series Champ, recently built a Pro-Cup car for Goodson. After building the car for him, Goodson tabbed Gordon to pilot his machine at the Derby. Gordon told Speed51 that he tested last week in the car at Pensacola and thinks he will have a good piece for the Snowball.

Wednesday, 1:35pm CT –  It’s only Wednesday and already there has been action and competition. When Tim Bryant announced over the loudspeakers that teams could unload their cars and head to tech, a race broke out in the infield. Teams scurried to be the first cars to technical inspection.  Donald Long’s team raced their way past others using the outside groove of pit road to be the first in line.

“We had the car ready to go with our guy inside the car and the four-wheeler ready to push the car in the rig, said Midwest Late Model racer Dan Fredrickson, who is consulting on Long’s #11.  When they told us we could go we just dropped the gate and took off. I think we were going fourty-miles-an-hour down pit road. We were first through and now we can relax for the rest of the day.”

Other’s weren’t so lucky. Bubba Pollard was deep in the long-line of cars heading to Ricky Brook’s room of doom. “I think we got cut or something,” joked Pollard.

Florida Late Model driver David Rogers placed a top-five finish in the race-to-tech.  While waiting on line for a hamburger in the infield, the veteran admitted getting through first is an advantage.

“We got beat bad last year, so this year we had the car untied and ready to go. If you don’t get on that line you might still be 20th in line when tech closes.”

Wednesday, 1:25pm CT –  David Hole has a new color combination on his familiar #0 Port City car. Instead of yellow and blue the yellow has been replaced by Auburn orange. He is showing support of his alma mater, Auburn University, where his daughter is currently a freshman.

Wednesday, 1:10pm CT –  Two familiar faces and pairs of shorts pushed a pretty-famous racecar to tech on Wednesday.  Dick Anderson and Jeff Choquette, both wearing short pants, have teamed up for the Derby.  Choquette will pilot Dick Anderson’s famous #92 Super Late Model.

Wednesday, 11:45am CT –  Just like eager kids on Christmas morning tearing open their gifts, the crews have all come to life on the infield unloading their cars and pushing them to the tech line.  Some crews are even jogging with their cars to get them in the tech line first.

Wednesday, 11:42am CT –  With all the big haulers entering the facilty, sometimes one team enters the track in a unique fashion.  Ron Joyner, a local racer from Pensacola, pulled his #46 Pro Late Model into the facilities on an open hauler.  Joyner will be attempting to qualify for the Snowflake 100, which will take place on Saturday.

Wednesday, 11:30am CT –  Tech was to officially open at 11am, but no cars have been unloaded yet as the haulers are still entering the facility.

Wednesday, 11:00am CT –  There are 65 paid entries for the 40th Annual Snowball Derby as well as 80 total paid entries for the Snowflake 100.  More are expected to filter their way to the track along with the support divisions this weekend, which include the Modifieds, Super Stocks, Sportsman and Bombers.

Wednesday, 10:30am CT –  One thing Five Flags Speedway prides themselves on is the organizational structure they have in place for getting all the rigs parked.  Last night, the rigs pulled into assigned and numbered areas behind the track in the parking lot.  This morning, the track is directing each one into the track in an orderly fashion to their parking spots on the infield. 

Wednesday, 9:30am CT –  The first haulers have started making their way into the track via the turn two entrance and are in the process of being parked on the infield.  The first one in was Georgia's Gary Helton.

With the amount of teams that will be here, it will be a packed infield.

Wednesday, 9:00am CT –  It is a cool Wednesday morning here at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida as the 40th Annual Snowball Derby event kicks off today at the track.  This historic event has drawn hundreds of cars to the area to race this weekend in multiple division races, concluding with the Snowball Derby on Sunday, December 2nd.

Once again, Speed51.com is the official site of the Snowball Derby, the fifth year in a row.  We will have Trackside Now updates throughout the whole week and into the weekend's events, covering news from the track to the pits of what is happening and who is here.

While the cars will not be circulating around the track today, there is still plenty of happenings on tap.  Matt Dillner and Jason Buckley will be scouring the pit area today to see who is here, how things are going and little tidbits of news throughout the day.

Today's Schedule
9:00am : Rig parking
11:00am - 5:00pm : Tech open
5:00pm - 9:00pm : 4th Annual WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Pit Party
(autographs, food, beverages and entertainment)
Pro Cup champ Bobby Gill's hauler is parked and ready to go.  (51 Photos)
Georgia's Gary Helton was the first car hauler into the speedway, just shortly after 9:00am.  (51 Photos)
40th Annual Snowball Derby
Nov. 28th - Dec. 2nd
Five Flags Speedway
Pensacola, Florida
Ron Joyner from Pensacola pulled his car in the old fashoned way: on an open hauler.  (51 Photos)
The crews start to unload their cars and push them to the tech area.  (51 Photos)
From 9:00am to 2:30pm, you can see how the pit area started with nothing and ended up packed.  (51 Photos)
Dan Fredrickson and the Donald Long team had time to work on the car and enjoy a latte after winning the race to tech.  (51 Photos)
Jeff Choquette prepares the #92 while Dick Anderson looks on.  (51 Photos)
One of the most hilarious moments of last year's pit party was the now famous "golf cart flip" of Frank Bolter and Richie Wauters. They have a new cart for the 2007 Derby.
The tech-line went pretty fast today at Five Flags even though the car count was monsterous.
The sun goes down at Five Flags.
Wednesday, 7:00pm CT – With the band continuing to play, we are going to shut down for the night and enjoy the evening with the drivers, crew members and the band.  Speed51.com will be back tomorrow morning with continuing coverage of the 40th Annual Snowball Derby.

Wednesday, 6:20pm CT – The band is rockin!  Drivers, team members and fans alike are gathered on the frontstretch. Many are jammin' out to the sounds of "Rumor Mill", a local band that is performing for the Green Flag Pit Party. Fans have the chance to mingle and meet their favorite drivers and snap a picture with them or get an autograph.

The pit party is always a lot of fun for the teams. It's a good way to end a hard day getting a car through tech and also a last chance to party a little before a hectic four days of action at Five Flags Speedway.
Wednesday, 6:00pm CT – Since many of the cars have not made a trip to the tech area, we do not have the complete list of drivers that have signed in and are ready to race in the Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100.  We do not want to keep everyone in the dark, so here is the list of paid entries received according to the track before this week's activities started.
0 David Hole Cumming, GA
01 Brian Scott Mooresville, NC
02 Matt Smith Houston, TX
03 Matt Merrell Gregory, TX
09 John Wes Townley Watkinsville, GA
09 Randy Gentry Easley, SC
1 Benny Gordon Dubois, PA
1 Stephan McCurlely Silsbee, TX
10 Danny Bagwell Cordora, Al
10 Ryan Crane Panama City, FL
10 Ryan Foster Lowell, AR
11 David Rogers Orlando, FL
11 Donald Long Pensacola, FL
112 Augie Grill Hayden, AL
12 Justin Drawdy Ft. Peirce, FL
13 T Wade Welch Houston, TX
14 Adam Crawford Harrisburg, NC
14 Ken McFarland Hoover, AL
14 Shane Hall Simpsonville, SC
145 Bill Melvin Trussville, AL
16 John Van Dorn Coopersville, MI
16 Royce Johnston Florala, AL
17 Chris Gabehart Indianapolis, IN
18 Eddie Craig Cantonment, FL
18 Hunter Robbins Shorter, AL
2 Clay Rogers Troutman, NC
21 Scott Carlson Pensacola, FL
22 Jeremy Pate Pensacola, FL
22 Matt Hawkins Canton, GA
24 Jr Roahrig Mishawaka, IN
27 Jason Young Houston, TX
29 Michael Phelps Suwanee, GA
30 Dave Mader, III Irvington, AL
31 Ryan Lawler Colleyville, TX
33 Richard Fincher Mobile, FL
38 Josh Hamner Chelsea, AL
39 Ryan Sieg Decatur, GA

41 Chris Davidson Pearland, TX
44 Gary Helton Sevierville, TN
44 Michael Pope Dublin, GA
45 Dwayne Baggay Woodstock, GA
48 Cecil Chunn Springhill, TN
49 Stanley Smith Chelsea, AL
5 Bobby Gill Concord, NC
51 Kyle Busch Concord, NC
54 Johnny Clark Hallowell, Me
57 Wes Loyd Covington, LA
66 Steve Wallace Mooresville, NC
67 Jeff Fultz Troutman, NC
7 Gary St. Amant Delaware, OH
70 Jeff Choquette Loxahatchee, FL
72 Eddie Mercer Pensacola, FL
72 Scott Hantz Angola, IN
73 Korey Ruble Dothan, AL
74 Jay Middleton Gainesville, Fl
77 Brian Campbell Wyoming, MI
8 Roger Reuse Pelham, Al
82 Donnie Wilson Oklahoma City, OK
82 Grant Enfinger Montrose, AL
83 Cale Gale Irvington, AL
83 Trevor McKinley Lautey, FL
84 Wayne Anderson Wildwood, FL
86 Mike Fritts Debary, FL
87 John Webb Pauls Valley, OK
88 David Pollen Jr Tampa, FL
9 Justin Marks Cornelius, NC
9 Kurt Jett Orange Park, FL
91 Heath Hindman Signal Mountain, TN
93 Shane Sieg Decatur, GA
96 Greg Davidson Pearland, TX
98 Bill Touchtone II Pensacola, FL
99 Casey Smith Austin, TX
99 Dale Little Satsuma, AL
99 Wayne Niedecken, Jr. Pensacola, FL

0 David Hole Cumming, GA
02 Matt Smith Houston, TX
02 Steve Renner Perry, GA
03 Michael Massey Gainesville, GA
04 Jerrod Foley Williamsburg, KY
05 Tommy Climar M'boro, TN
09 John Wes Townley Watkinsville, GA
1 Stephan McCurlely Silsbee, TX
10 Joey Senter Jefferson, GA
10 Johanna Long Pensacola, FL
10 Ryan Crane Panama City, FL
108 Drew Brannon Miami, FL
11 Logan Boyett Pensacola, FL
11 Tom Grothues San Antonio, TX
11 Vance Noland Zachary, LA
115 Lloyd Alexander San Antonio, TX
12 Gregory Tallent, II Dothan, AL
12 Josh Adams White House, TN
13 T Wade Welch Houston, TX
14 Brent Seeley Plano, TX
14 Carl Smith Hockley, TX
14 John M. Wilkinson Hueytown, AL
16 Andy Pugh Geneva, AL
17 Sam Shanky Smith Troy, al
18 Eddie Craig Cantonment, FL
18 Ronnie Sanders Fayetteville, Ga
2 Daren "DJ" Vanderley Mobile, AL
2 John Bolen Jasper, Al
22 A J Foyt, IV Waller, TX
22 Josh Bragg Helena, MS
22 Matt Hawkins Canton, GA
23 Paul Kelley Buford, GA
24 Dennis Royce Harry Columbus, GA
26 Bubba Pollard Senoia, GA
26 Travis Cope Weeki Wachee, FL
27 Jason Young Houston, TX
28 Tommy Praytor Mobile, AL
29 Michael Phelps Suwanee, GA
3 Blake Williams Goodlettsville, TN
30 Tim Baker Moss Point, MS
33 Cale Gale Irvington, AL
33 Nathan Davis Decatur, AL
36 Keith Thorpe Pace, FL
38 Bo Miller Bowling Green, KY
38 Josh Hamner Chelsea, AL

38 Shane T. Sawyer Braselton, GA
39 C J Faison Seaford, DE
39 Hal Martin Galliano, LA
39 Scott Patton Chattanooga, TN
4 Kyle Fowler Smyrna, GA
40 Brad Webb Wetumpka, AL
40 Taylor Satterfield Commerce, GA
43 David Watters Buford, GA
43 Richard Johns Charlotte, NC
44 Michael Pope Dublin, GA
44 Mike Williamson Cantonment, FL
44 Wes Burton Kannapolis, NC
45 Dwayne Baggay Woodstock, GA
47 Dakota Stroup Maceo, KY
47 Ed Mann Kingwood, TX
5 Chase Oliver Crossville, AL
51 Brandon Carlson Pensacola, FL
51 Sammy McMullen Pensacola, FL
51 Wyatt Webb Ocean Springs, MS
51 Zach Stroupe Iron Stadon, NC
52 Eric Courville Gonzales, LA
6 Brandon Bendele Adkins, tx
61 Joey Watkins Dothan, AL
61 T W Fisher White House, TN
64 David Jones Mobile, AL
70 Jeff Choquette Loxahatchee, FL
71 Brandon Kelley Humble, TX
71D Donny Kelley New Coney, TX
72 Greg Leachman Satsuma, AL
76 Gary Greenwood Anderson, SC
77 Brian Campbell Wyoming, MI
8 Bobby Reuse Pelham, AL
8 Donnie Hamrac Semmes, AL
80 Allen Alexander San Antonio, TX
81 Brandon Odom DeFuniak Springs, FL
83 David D Wilson Sarasota, FL
84 Mike Alexander Jr Franklin, TN
86 Jimmy Lang III Bluffton, SC
93 Kyle Sirizzotti Helotes, TX
94 Mitch Cobb Edwards, CO
94 Shannon Jackson Pascagola, MS
96 Steven Davis Satsuma, AL
97 Jimmy Garmon Hoschton, GA
99 Dale Little Satsuma, AL

SNOWBALL DERBY EARLY ENTRIES
SNOWFLAKE 100 EARLY ENTRIES
Jeff Fultz enjoys some chili while rockin' out to the music.