Laps and Days Ticking Away Towards 41st Annual Snowball Derby 51Sports / Series PR
New Amenities Awaiting Teams and Fans at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola
All around the country, Super Late Model and Pro Late Model series’ are crowning champions, but for many teams with those high-powered types of racecars, there are still several more weeks left to their season, even if their regular tour’s schedule has been completed.
Teams from coast to coast are eagerly anticipating the start of the 41st Annual Snowball Derby Weekend at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway, December 4th through 7th. Since the end of the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model race and the 300-lap Snowball Derby last December, drivers and teams have circled this year’s Derby Weekend dates for their chance to de-throne 2007 Snowflake winner Ryan Crane and Snowball Champion Augie Grill.
With less than six weeks remaining, their chance is quickly approaching.
“Between the two classes right now, we’re nearing 100 pre-entries already,” said Tim Bryant, Promoter of Five Flags Speedway and the Snowball Derby. “It’s almost equal, within two or three, between the Snowball and the Snowflake entries so far. With the way things are these days, we’re not necessarily expecting the levels of entries we had last year, but we’re just about right on par from where we were last year, which is pretty cool.”
Every winter, the Bryant family, owners of the Pensacola half-mile, and the staff at Five Flags make sure the facility is ready for the nearly 300 teams and thousands of fans packing the grandstands that will visit the track during Derby Weekend. This year, in addition to the normal sprucing-up of the track, teams and fans can expect new amenities at Five Flags when they arrive for the 41st Annual Derby.
“We’ve got some construction projects going on as we speak here. Of course, we’ll do our normal sprucing up with the Snowball weekend being our showcase event, but we’re adding a couple things around the track that should enhance a visit to this year’s Derby. We’re building a hospitality suite in turn two. Plus, the bleachers that we always bring in for the Snowball Derby weekend in turns one and two are now going to be permanent aluminum grandstands. The concrete work is getting finished up as we speak and they’ll be ready to go for Snowball weekend.”
Augie Grill in the 2007 Snowball Derby victory lane. (51 Sports Photo)
Snowball Derby Officials have released the full weekend schedule for the 2008 Snowball Derby Weekend, which also includes a few changes that will make the Snowball experience more enjoyable for crews and fans alike.
“We moved the open wheel modified show to Friday this year to keep that Saturday race from running so late this year,” added Bryant. “Saturday’s going to be all Late Models this year.
“We’ve re-structured the Last Chance Qualifying procedure for the Snowball, too. We’re going to have one race, a 50-lapper, that we take six cars out of for the race. That’s a little different from last year where we had two races taking three each. We’re vowing to stick to the schedule this year and hopefully make that Saturday night a fairly early evening for everybody.”
Ryan Crane won the 2007 Snowflake 100 race. (51 Sports Photo)
The 41st Annual Snowball Derby Weekend will kick off Wednesday, December 3rd with the Fifth Annual Cat Country/WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Party, where fans can meet their favorite drivers and enjoy live music, food, beverages and more entertainment for the whole family. On-track action will kick off on Thursday, December 4th, with practice for the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 and the Snowball Derby, as well as practice, qualifying and features for the Sportsmen and Bombers.
102.7 WXBM Pole Night is Friday, December 5th, with time trials for the Snowball Derby being the headline event on a schedule that also includes practice for the Snowball and Snowflake and events for the Open-Wheeled Modifieds and Super Stocks.
The Allen Turner Snowflake 100 headlines the activities on Saturday, December 6th, as the Pro Late Models will take to Five Flags for their time trials and the 100-green-flag-lap feature. The last-chance qualifying race for the Snowball Derby Saturday night will set the field for Sunday’s main event for the Super Late Models.
The 41st Annual Snowball Derby is scheduled to take the green flag at 2pm CT at Five Flags Speedway on Sunday, December 7th.
Grandstand and VIP tickets are still available for the entire Snowball Derby weekend and are going fast. Contact the Five Flags Speedway Box Office for advance tickets today by calling (850) 944-8400 or print out and mail the advance ticket order form available on the official event website, www.snowballderby.com.
For more information on the 41st Annual Snowball Derby event, contact Matt Kentfield at (704) 788-2134 x 5 and visit www.snowballderby.com.