Ryan Preece
Derby Blog
41st Annual Snowball Derby Blog - Ryan Preece
#51 Beef 'O' Brady's BDI Racing Chevrolet
The 18-year-old Modified standout Ryan Preece made his Snowball Derby debut (and his full-fendered debut) during the 41st Annual Snowball Derby event driving the #51 Beef 'O' Brady's BDI Racing Chevrolet.  Preece filed a Derby Blog throughout the weekend from Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Ryan Preece and the Beef 'O' Brady's BDI Racing #51 Chevrolet.  (51 Sports Photo)
Snowball Derby Results

Start = 30th / Finish = 14th

Ryan Preece Derby Blog: Monday, December 8th, 2008

The 41st Snowball Derby was a heck of a race.  The race started off pretty hard, so I just fell in behind Derby veterans Gary St. Amant, Scott Carlson, Augie Grill, & Wayne Anderson.  This deal was all about learning, and those are some of the best guys to follow.

The qualifying tires were beat up pretty good and trying to get them to hook up to the track was really hard. We ended up going 1 lap down. When a caution flew, we took advantage of the situation and put 4 new Hoosier tires on.  We came out and passed the leader, Eddie Mercer, on the restart and caught the end of the field.

We started passing cars as soon as we caught the tail end of the field. On lap 265 we were running 10th, and going for 9th when a car got sideways on the front stretch and caused a big pile up. We ended up getting some front bumper and hood damage, but it wasn’t very bad, just typical short-track racing. We finished 15th, but due to a DQ of the winner, we ended up 14th.

I’ll hold my head up and take a Top-15 in my first Super Late Model start, in the most prestigious short track race in the country.  The Snowball Derby was an awesome experience!

Shortly after the Derby ended, my Dad and I loaded up the Motorhome and started the long 21-hour drive back to Connecticut.

As I write my last Derby blog, we’ve stopped in Kannapolis, NC to have breakfast at a Cracker Barrel with my driving coach & spotter Mike Herman.

Herm was instrumental in putting this deal together with BDI Racing, and it’s cool to catch up with him one more time before we head home.

We talked about what we accomplished this week.  I can check off racing a full-fendered car now, I made the Snowball Derby in my first attempt, and we completed the whole race. 

I had a lot of fun and made some new friends in the stock car world.  Contacts like that can make all the difference in my future.

It’s time to pull back out onto Dale Earnhardt Blvd & head north on I-85.  Just the name of this road gives me a feeling of how high I need to set my goals. 

So as soon as we get home to Connecticut, I’ll turn my focus towards my next trip south.  Come February, I’ll lose the fenders and will be back in the Open-Wheel Modified during the 43rd Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway during Daytona Speedweeks.

I appreciate everyone at BDI Racing for all their hard work and the support the team received from Beef ‘O’ Brady’s & Racing Electronics.

Thanks once again to Speed 51 for posting my Derby Blogs and I hope you enjoyed them.  See you at Speedweeks!

Ryan Preece Derby Blog: Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Derby Morning!  Last night I was just laying in bed thinking, man I made the Snowball Derby. It’s going to be a tough race, but I know if we just keep all the fenders on it (which I’m not used to having fenders!) for all 300 laps, we’ll be there at the end.  I watched the Derby Qualifier last night, and saw that a lot of guys were going to be dive bombing each other, so my plan is to just go into conserve mode, so when everyone else’s tires fall off, hopefully we will be charging forward.

With the tradition of the Snowball Derby, I definitely feel privileged to be here.  Again, I want to thank my parents, my car owner, and all my sponsors for this opportunity of a lifetime. 

My goal today is to make all 300 laps, but if things go my way I would love to stand in victory lane as the 41ST Snowball Derby Champion!

Ryan Preece Derby Blog: Friday, December 5th, 2008

Man, Friday was close. We just made it in. we ran a lap time of 17.16.  My second lap would have been better, but I picked up the throttle a little to soon and she popped sideways on me. I have to thanks the whole Beef O’ Brady’s crew for all the hard work they put in. I have to also thank Racing Electronics for all the work they have been doing this weekend for BDI Racing. On the same note, I have to thank my Dad and my Mom. My Mom couldn’t be here this weekend because she had to work at our Garden Center, Race Hill Farm LLC.  I also have to thank my personal sponsors, Mizzy Construction, Meade Tattoo, J & M Mechanical Insulation, DEG Electric, and Mike Herman Racing, Inc.

We just finished practice today, Saturday, and we have a great long run car. We weren’t burning our tires up and were catching cars that we on the same lap tires as us.   Tonight I’m going to watch the Derby Qualifier and the Snowflake 100 to learn for tomorrow’s race, my first Snowball Derby.

Ryan Preece Derby Blog: Thursday, December 4th, 2008

First off, I’d like to thank the whole BDI Racing team for giving me this great opportunity.  My snowball adventure started on Tuesday when I was on my flight from Hartford, CT to Pensacola, FL at 12:30pm. I landed here in Florida at 4:30pm.  I headed over to Pensacola’s own Beef O’ Brady’s. Man, their food was awesome.  They had some great food, really friendly and good-looking waitresses J, and TV’s for any sporting event that you’d like to watch.

Wednesday we headed off to the track at 7:30am, and we were unloaded by about 11 o’clock. We were going through tech for about an hour or so, and passed with flying colors. After, we set the car on the scales and prepared it for practice day. Later on that evening, we took another stop at Beef O’ Brady’s where I tried their famous Waterson Sandwich. That was the best sandwich I had ever had in my life! After Beef O’ Brady’s, I headed back to the RV, so I could get some sleep for Thursday’s practice.  I’d like to thank my Dad for making the 20-hour drive so I could have the RV here for the convenience. 

Thursday started of pretty solid.  All we wanted to do today was race runs, and make sure we weren’t burning the tires off it in 10 laps. Bob Dillner, the Crew Chief Bond Suss, Mike Herman, Jr., the crew, and I had got the car where we believe is a top 5 car in race trim. I know that this car is going to be a contender, as it’s always running good whenever it is on the track. We had a fuel obstacle along the way. Towards the end of practice we had a fuel pump let go on us. So we have changed that. We finished up on switching our car from race run to a qualifying package that BDI Racing has made. Tonight we are going to Fast Eddie’s Go-Cart track to run an event for the Snowball Derby, so that will be a good time.

I hope you enjoy reading my Derby blog.  I’ll check back in after Derby qualifying on Friday.

Ryan Preece was damaged in a wreck during the race. (51 Sports Photo)
Ryan Preece at speed. (51 Sports Photo)
Bob Dillner and Ryan Preece. (51 Sports Photo)
Ryan Preece at speed. (51 Sports Photo)
Ryan enjoying some Karting at Fast Eddies.. (51 Sports Photo)
Ryan Preece at speed. (51 Sports Photo)
The Beef 'O' Brady's appearance. (51 Sports Photo)