TRACKSIDE NOW
Snowball Derby Weekend
Five Flags Speedway
Pensacola, Florida

Saturday, Dec. 6th, 2008
DISCUSS THIS EVENT IN THE SPEED 51 SNOWBALL DERBY DISCUSSION FORUM AT MOTORSPORTS LOUNGE (CLICK HERE)
Trackside Now: 41st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway
Saturday, December 6th, 2008 Action (Pensacola, FL)
The Carlson Clan – Father Scott is driving the #21 in the Snowball Derby, while son Brandon is entered in the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 with the #151.  (51 Sports photo)
How many tracks use a street sweeper to clean up the pit area on race morning? (51 Sports photo)
Track workers were right out there watering down the camping area early Saturday morning as well. (51 Sports photo)
It’s a brand new day…and a new team as well…for Shane Sieg and company as they unload Saturday morning. (51 Sports photos)
Shane Sieg is sporting a hat with his new number for the weekend - #52. (51 Sports photos)
Ricky Brooks held up a carburetor from Donald Long's car, letting the drivers and crew members know that he doesn't play favorites.  (51 Sports photo)
Richie Wauters is on the other side of the fence for the rest of the weekend.  (51 Sports photo)
Bubba Pollard under the car.  (51 Sports photo)
Tide or Gators?  There are several Football fans here today at Five Flags Speedway.  (51 Sports photo)
Augie Grill remembers Charlie Bradberry by running a red car.  (51 Sports photo)
Saturday, 6:45pm Central Time - We are switching to a new, fresh page for the Snowflake 100 coverage.

CLICK HERE NOW FOR THE SNOWFLAKE 100 TRACKSIDE NOW COVERAGE

Saturday, 6:40pm Central Time - Don't forget, there are two things for fans to do while enjoying the coverage here at Speed51.com.

First, make sure to participate in the Speed51.com Snowball Derby Best Appearing Car vote.  Voting ends Sunday at 11:00am Central Time.  click here now to vote

Also, make sure to register, login and post to the Speed51.com Snowball Derby discussion forum at Motorsports Lounge.  Make your opinion known!  click here for the forum

Saturday, 6:30pm Central Time - A determined Brian Ickler was confident in his ride despite starting shotgun on the field. Now the eyes of the #15 team are set on tomorrow’s show where he will once again have to advance from the rear. 

Saturday, 6:20pm Central Time - The results from the last chance races have been posted on mylaps.com: 

Snowball Derby Last Chance  Snowflake Last Chance #1  Snowflake Last Chance #2

Saturday, 6:11pm Central Time - Tom Busch, the owner of Alex Haase's #51, protested the #52 of Shane Sieg after the last chance race because of the soaked tires they were caught with earlier in the week. Busch stated that everyone should have to leave (crew chief, driver and car).

The protest was turned down and everyone eventually made it through tech.

Saturday, 6:05pm Central Time - There were quite a few interesting stories after the Last Chance race for the Snowball Derby.  We’ll get you started with a few of them.

- Don’t expect any Christmas cards to be exchanged between Benny Gordon and Shane Sieg this year.  Actually, don’t expect any to be exchanged between any members of their crews either.

With just four laps to go, Gordon was running in the sixth spot.  That was the highly sought-after final transfer spot.  Going into turn one, Sieg hit Gordon once and then kept hard on the gas to hit him a second time.  That second hit sent Gordon spinning up the track and was also good enough to get Sieg penalized.  He was sent to the rear of the field.

After the race, members of the two crews showed their displeasure towards one another with their words and their fingers.  Gordon marched down pit road and was very vocal about how he felt about Sieg, his crew and Super Late Model racing in general.

“They’re a bunch of a------s,” said Gordon.  “That’s what Late Model racing is all about – racing with a bunch of a------s.  They run into each other and they wreck each other.  Sieg and his crew are at the top of the list when it comes to being a------s.”

“Sieg is an a-----e - that’s what happened out there.  He’s always been an a-----e, he drives like an a-----e and if I could get a hold of him I would pound his a-s.”

Sieg blamed the incident on a lack of brakes…and Benny Gordon.

“Well, it was pretty much his fault,” said Sieg.  “I was up underneath him and he came down on me and took himself out.  I had no brakes.  If I did, I would have been way ahead of him.  We were lucky to finish with no brakes, I was just hoping to have a yellow to fix it.  I told the crew to get me just a little a bit of pedal and I can blow by these guys.  But, hey we’re in the show.  We are going to show them what soaked tires are all about tomorrow.”

- Justin Drawdy was solidly in a transfer spot early on, but ran over a piece of lead that damaged his master cylinder, left him without brakes and dropped him out of the race early.

-Gary St. Amant overcame a car that wasn’t so great and used his decades of racing experience to earn a starting position in this year’s Derby.  On the final restart, with just two laps to go, St. Amant outfoxed youngster Alex Haase.

“I actually thought that I had messed up there,” said St. Amant.  “I let Jack [Landis] by and screwed up doing that.  But the #51 [Haase] threw him a little bit of a block and that gave me a hole.  I filled it and knew that if I just kept it straight, I’d be in the show.”

Saturday, 6:02pm Central Time - Earlier, while the Snowflake last chance races were on the track, our 51ers in the infield reported that most of the top finishers in the Last Chance race for the Snowball Derby have cleared technical inspection.  The exception could be the #52 of Shane Sieg, which is still in the tech area.  The car does not appear to have been released yet and there was some word floating around of a possible protest against the car by another competitor. 

On the other hand, the word from officials up in the scoring tower is that everyone from the qualifying race was “good”.  The scene is still hectic down there as the cars from the first Snowflake 100 Last Chance race were down there as well.  So we will just keep you posted as we hear more.

Saturday, 6:01pm Central Time - CHECKERED FLAG: Dillon Oliver won the second last chance qualifier for the Snowflake 100.  Keith English and Zach Neissner also transferred into the Snowflake 100.  Jack Landis was fourth, one spot out from making the race tonight.

We will have more from all of the qualifiers here momentarily.

Saturday, 5:57pm Central Time - At lap 15, Dillon Oliver still leads over Keith English. Zach Neissner runs third and in the final transfer spot.  Outside looking in by one spot is Jack Landis.

Saturday, 5:53pm Central Time - Dillon Oliver buzzed the tires on the start, but has held onto the lead ahead of Keith English.

Saturday, 5:51pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG

Saturday, 5:45pm Central Time - The second Snowflake 100 qualifier is on track.  Here is the lineup for the first race (top three transfer into the Snowflake race - 25 lap event):

1) Dillon Oliver
2) Keith English
3) Jack Landis
4) Kirby Honeycutt
5) Zach Neissner
6) Scott Patton
7) Thor Anderson
8) Joe Aramendia
9) Keith Thorpe
10) Carl Smith
11) Korey Ruble
12) John Bolen
13) Jimmy Victory
14) Eirc Centers
15) Brandon Fowler
16) Mason Aaron Mitchell

Saturday, 5:40pm Central Time - CHECKERED FLAG: Brandon Bendele made the move by Kyle Sirizzotti on lap 22 and ended up driving to victory lane in the first last chance race.  For the third and final transfer spot, John Long held off Rodney Benefield for the last few laps of the event, putting him into the race and Benefield out.

The second last chance race is up next.

Saturday, 5:36pm Central Time - With 15 laps complete, Kyle Sirizzotti currently leads Brandon Bendele.  John Long runs third and in the final transfer spot.  Rodney Benefield rides in fourth, one spot out.

Saturday, 5:33pm Central Time - Kyle Sirizzotti got the lead on the start and has pulled out to a lead over Brandon Bendele.

Saturday, 5:30pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG

Saturday, 5:25pm Central Time - The last chance races for the Snowflake 100 is on track and will be going green soon.  Here is the lineup for the first race (top three transfer into the Snowflake race - 25 lap event):

1)Kyle Sirizzotti
2)Shane Sawyer
3)Rodney Benefield
4)Brandon Bendele
5)Thomas Praytor
6)Elliott Massey
7)Larry Foyt
8)John Long
9)Chase Oliver
10)John Robicheaux
11)Skip McCord
12)Jack Smith
13)Eric Wallace
14)Darin Matthews
15)Shain Cheney
16)Ricky Vice
17)David Hole

Of note, Shane Sawyer is a no-show, as well as a few others, so that moves Brandon Bendele into the outside pole.

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SNOWFLAKE LAST CHANCE QUALIFIERS  NEXT!!!
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Saturday, 5:05pm Central Time - After the race, there appeared to be a scuffle between Benny Gordon's crew and Shane Sieg's crew.  Gordon was irate with Sieg after the incident they had on track.  Our pit reporters were on scene and will have more from what happened a bit later.

Saturday, 5:00pm Central Time - CHECKERED FLAG - Brian Ickler has won the last chance qualifier to get into the Snowball Derby.  Donnie Wilson crossed the line second, followed by Chris Davidson, John Bolen and Gary St. Amant.  Shane Sieg got to sixth, taking the final transfer spot into the Snowball Derby.  Jack Landis, who flew by many racers on the outside on the restart, trying to get a good jump, ended up missing the transfer spot.

Saturday, 4:59pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG: LAP 49

Saturday, 4:58pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG/RED FLAG: LAP 49: Benny Gordon spun in turn four, putting up a ton of smoke.  The red was put out because of the smoke.

It will be a green/white/checker finish.

Saturday, 4:55pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG: LAP 47

Saturday, 4:53pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 47: Shane Sieg made a huge run to the front of the field after pitting under the yellow.  He got up to the back bumper of Benny Gordon, and heading into turn one, made contact with the back Gordon's car, sending him for a spin in turn two.  Both drivers were sent to the rear for the incident.

The top six: Ickler, Wilson, Davidson, Bolen, Haase, St Amant.  Jack Landis is in seventh.

Saturday, 4:52pm Central Time - Brian Ickler held onto the top spot on the restart, but Donnie Wilson is all over his bumper for the top spot. 

Saturday, 4:50pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG: LAP 42

Saturday, 4:49pm Central Time - Shane Sieg has pulled back onto the track.

Saturday, 4:48pm Central Time - The current top six are: Brian Ickler, Donnie Wilson, John Bolen, Chris Davidson, Benny Gordon and Alex Haase.  Gary St. Amant is one spot out of the transfer.

Saturday, 4:46pm Central Time - The officials stopped everyone on the front stretch to check and see who was leaking fluid.  Stephan McCurley's car appears to be the one has been pushed to pit road.  Shane Sieg is also on pit road during this yellow with the side of the car up in the air.

Saturday, 4:42pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 42: A bit of chaos occured on the restart.  It appeared a few cars buzzed their tires, including Benny Gordon.  Going into turn one, Gordon was all over the track as well as a few others.  When they came back to turn four, John Bolen went for a slide up the track.  It appears that there is oil on the track.

Because they didn't complete a lap under green, all drivers are getting their spots back.

Saturday, 4:40pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG: LAP 42

Saturday, 4:38pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 42: Trouble has bit Justin Drawdy as it appeared he lost it on his own in turn two, spinning his car around.

The top six are: Brian Ickler, Donnie Wilson, John Bolen, Chris Davidson, Benny Gordon and Stephan McCurley.  Alex Haase is one spot out of the transfer.

Saturday, 4:37pm Central Time - The positions behind the leader have changed a few times.  With 10 laps to go (40 complete), the top six are: Brian Ickler, Donnie Wilson, John Bolen, Chris Davidson, Benny Gordon and Stephan McCurley.  Alex Haase moved into the final transfer spot, but lost it to McCurley, who is trying to race his way in after he had his qualifying time disallowed.

Saturday, 4:33pm Central Time - The top six at halfway (lap 25): Brian Ickler, John Bolen, Donnie Wilson, Justin Drawdy, Chris Davidson and Benny Gordon.  Alex Haase is one spot out of the transfer spot in seventh.

Saturday, 4:32pm Central Time - It took just 21 laps for Brian Ickler to work his way to the top spot.  On the other end of the stick, Jeff Choquette and Shane Sieg are not advancing to the front like many thought they would.  Alex Haase runs seventh.

Saturday, 4:29pm Central Time - With 15 laps in the books, John Bolen continues to pace the field ahead of Justin Drawdy.  Brian Ickler has worked his way to third and is putting pressure on Drawdy. 

Saturday, 4:27pm Central Time - On lap three, John Bolen worked his way around Justin Drawdy for the lead.

Saturday, 4:25pm Central Time - On the start, there was almost a big pile-up down the front stretch as John Long didn't get up to speed from the outside front-row spot.  He was able to get to the high lane as the field skirted by.  Justin Drawdy took command of the top spot on the start.

Saturday, 4:23pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG: Justin Drawdy and John Long lead the field to the green.

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SNOWBALL DERBY LAST CHANCE QUALIFIER EVENT NEXT!!!
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Saturday, 4:18pm Central Time - Up next is the Snowball Derby Qualifier event.  It is 50 laps with the top six drivers locking themselves in to the 41st Annual Snowball Derby.

Here is the starting order:

1) Justin Drawdy
2) John Long
3) John Bolen
4) Chris Davidson
5) Jeff Choquette
6) Gary St. Amant
7) Jack Landis
8) Donnie Wilson
9) William Wambles
10) Roger Reuse
11) Benny Gordon
12) Cecil Chung
13) John Fleming
14) Stephan McCurley
15) Alex Haase
16) Brian Ickler
17) Shane Sieg
18) Ron McDonald

Saturday, 4:02pm Central Time - Qualifying times from the Snowflake session have been posted to mylaps.com.  Nathan Davis was the 30th fastest and the last driver in on time.  Kyle Sirizzotti was 31st, just missing the guaranteed starting spot.

SNOWFLAKE QUALIFYING TIMES ON MYLAPS.COM

Saturday, 4:00pm Central Time - Track officials are making the announcement for all participants in the Last Chance race for the Snowball Derby to bring their cars to pit road for staging.  Their race will go off shortly and it promises to be a wild one.

Saturday, 3:59pm Central Time - Paul Kelley is racing in both the Snowball Derby and the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100.  He successfully qualified for both events and ironically enough, was the last driver in the qualifying order for each event.

Saturday, 3:58pm Central Time - Texan Jason Young has won the pole position for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100.  He was followed by Keeton Hanks, Josh Hamner, Augie Grill and Drew Brannon.  We will have the full results from qualifying shortly.

Saturday, 3:57pm Central Time - Cell phones started ringing in the press box a few moments ago – those two phones belonged to CRA headmen Glenn Luckett and R.J. Scott and the callers must have been influenced by the captions under their photo (within moments of the picture hitting the site)  We didn’t know that those two turkeys had so many friends!

Saturday, 3:30pm Central Time - While qualifying continues here at Five Flags Speedway for the Snowflake 100 race, we have uploaded the lastest videos for Gary St. Amant's Derby Diary and Wayne Anderson's Wayne's World.  Click the links below to view them:
Gary St. Amant's Derby DiaryWayne Anderson's Wayne's World

Saturday, 3:10pm Central Time - Eric Wallace spun his #9 Pro Late Model on his warm-up lap.  He was able to still take his two qualifying laps, but neither one was quick enough to crack the starting grid.  Wallace will have to run the Last Chance race to try and break into the starting field for the Snowflake 100.

Saturday, 2:58pm Central Time - Dillon Oliver from Bowling Green, Kentucky (which is the only place in the world where new Corvettes are assembled) looped his #33 Pro Late Model on his warm-up lap for Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 qualifying.  Not only did Oliver not wreck, he also managed to get the car pointed in the right direction when it stopped spinning.  Oliver was able to complete his qualifying laps without any further incident.

Saturday, 2:40pm Central Time - This just in ... Bob Dillner, owner of BDI Racing, is selling his racing vehicle.

No, not the Super Late Model that is being driven by Ryan Preece in the Snowball Derby tomorrow.  Instead, it is a Rocket Barstool racer.  The team brought the machine here from Concord, North Carolina, to see if anyone would want to buy it.  They will take $850 in cash from the first person who heads on down to the BDI Racing hauler with the cash in hand. 

Saturday, 2:35pm Central Time - While many businesses are closing up or stopping their support of short track racing, due to the economy, Allen Turner Hyundai isn't going anywhere.  As the sponsor of the Snowflake 100 event tonight, Allen Turner told Speed51.com that he is proud to support the event tonight and feels that Five Flags Speedway and this event are great for the fans and the local economy.

Saturday, 2:30pm Central Time - We were able to use the lunch break to take a stroll through the pit area and gather a few pit notes.  Here is what we have discovered –

- While Steve Reno, Jr. will attempt to qualify the #1 Pro Late Model of Nathan Davis for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100, it will be Davis who will race the car if it does qualify for the feature event.

- Yesterday, the #22 team of Matt Hawkins had a head gasket problem prior to qualifying.  The team fixed the problem and a smiling Fred Hawkins told us today that those repairs appeared to be successful.  He also said that Matt was happy with the handling of the car and that when the driver is happy, then everyone is happy. 

- John Fleming came down from Nova Scotia, Canada to attempt to qualify for the Snowball Derby and he brought a few other racers along with him.  Occasional PASS North competitor T.J Brackett is said to be the crew chief this weekend…which the young Maine driver promptly denied.

“No, No, No…I’m just another duck,” said Brackett.

Veteran driver and crew chief Jerry Babb, who is originally from Maine but now lives in North Carolina is also with the Fleming team this weekend…but he maintains that he is “only” the team’s spotter.

John Fleming will have to run the last chance race this afternoon to earn a starting spot for the Derby on his first trip to this track.  He reports that the car is getting a little bit better, but that it is hard to tell where you’re at in practice compared to the competition.  He’s cautiously optimistic about his chances of advancing to the feature through the last chance race.

- Alex Haase is another driver who has to advance through the last chance race to get into the Derby.  He was seen getting tips from Derby veteran Jeff Fultz this afternoon.

-  The weather up north is frightful, with snow expected in New England tomorrow, so many racing people from that area have made the trek down to Florida for the Derby.  One of those who we caught up with in the pit area this week is Dave Weir – who owns the PASS Modified driven by Andy Shaw and also serves as the spotter for PASS North driver D.J. Shaw.

Jack Smith’s Pro Late Model team was hard at work repairing front end damage to their #28 during the break.  They appear to have been successful and will be able to make it in time for qualifying for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 event.  Smith had gotten caught in a wreck with Skip McCord in practice.  McCord’s car wasn’t as damaged and he’ll be ok for qualifying as well.

-  As we discussed below, there is a pretty big football game going on today.  It’s Alabama vs. Florida and the crowd at Five Flags is definitely paying attention…and bragging a little bit.  We witnessed a golf cart that was making its rounds through the parking and camping areas with a Alabama flag in tow.  It wasn’t flying though – it was being dragged along the ground and covered in mud, debris and possibly even a bit of dog waste.  We suspect the golf cart driver was a Florida fan. 

Saturday, 2:25pm Central Time - Qualifying has finally got back going again with a few cars hitting the track without any issue.

Saturday, 2:14pm Central Time - And, just as quick as we could type it, Mason Mitchell has spun his car on the front stretch as he was coming up to speed on his warm-up lap, slamming the inside wall.  The rollback is coming out, so his day appears to be done.

Saturday, 2:13pm Central Time - Mason Mitchell is on the track as the first Snowflake car to take time as qualifying has begun. 

Saturday, 1:55pm Central Time - We are just moments away from Snowflake Pro Late Model qualifying.  Just like the Derby, the 'Flake qualifying will lock in the top-30 drivers.  The difference though is that there will be two qualifier races for the Snowflake drivers that do not lock into the field while there is only one for the Derby.

Saturday, 1:15pm Central Time - While the track is silent, we are going to take a short break.  We will be back at 2:00pm for the start of Snowflake qualifying.

Saturday, 1:10pm Central Time - Times from the final Snowball Derby practice has been posted on mylaps.com, with Jeff Choquette topping the charts.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SNOWBALL DERBY PRACTICE TIMES - ON MYLAPS.COM

Saturday, 1:08pm Central Time - Gary St. Amant needed a spotter for tonight's Derby qualifying race, so he asked Mike "Hermanator" Herman, Jr. to help out.  Herman is a former competitor of St. Amants in the Hooters Pro Cup Series, and is here spotting for Ryan Preece in the #51 Beef 'O' Brady's BDI Racing Chevrolet.  Preece will start 30th tomorrow in his first Snowball Derby.

Saturday, 1:05pm Central Time - Snowball Derby practice has concluded here at Five Flags Speedway.  There were no major incidents during the session.

Saturday, 1:00pm Central Time - We caught up with Sammy McMullen, former Pro Late Model track champion here at Five Flags, and he would like it to be known that he also works for Donald Long and does not want it held against him. However, due to a stripped clutch, he was not able to practice in today’s Snowflake practice session.

Saturday, 12:55pm Central Time - Thor is running well.  No, not the God of Thunder, but the driver from Des Moines, Iowa. Thor Anderson’s only complaint is that his chariot is a little loose through the middle. He is hoping to keep his #4 out of the wall and looking forward to bringing home a top-10 finish.

Saturday, 12:50pm Central Time - Logan Boyett was the fastest Snowflake car during thier practice session, followed by David Hole, Taylor Satterfield, Drew Brannon and Jason Young.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL SNOWFLAKE TIMES FROM THE PRACTICE - ON MYLAPS.COM

Saturday, 12:45pm Central Time - After a short break to allow people to cross to and from the infield, Super Late Model practice is underway again at Five Flags Speedway.  So far, the session has been uneventful…which is a good thing.

Saturday, 12:40pm Central Time - If you are not going to be making it to Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway for the 41st running of the Snowball Derby, there are two great ways to keep up with the happenings at the track.  First, of course, is our own Trackside Now coverage.  But if you are reading this, you are probably already aware of that fact.

The other way, which you might not know about yet, is by listening to live coverage of the race over the Internet. RaceTalkRadio.com will be broadcasting the Derby on Sunday, so if you go to their website and click on the “Listen Live” button on the right top corner of the page, you can hear what is going on the Derby.

Speed51.com is a partner in the RTR coverage and we will also have a few news updates from the track throughout the week…so check out RaceTalkRadio.com and get up to speed with what has been going on here at the track.

Saturday, 12:35pm Central Time - We have a bunch of numbers 10 from Ryan Crane, to Johanna Long, to Joey Senter, to Ryan Blaney, to Jack Landis - it’s down right crazy.  We have a total of 11 cars with the number 10 on them.  The scoring crew in the tower, headed up by Jimmy Wiggins, will have their work cutout for them.

Saturday, 12:30pm Central Time - It’s a family affair here at Five Flags Speedway.  Race director Dan Spence and his son Danny Spence are a big part of the action here at the Pensacola track

Dan Spence is the race director for all divisions here on race-day, while his son Danny Spence is man with the flags, who has the best view of the track.  He will get a workout this weekend. Dan Spence is a little under the weather this weekend, so we wish him the best.

Saturday, 12:25pm Central Time - We caught up with an enthusiastic Stephan McCurley earlier this morning.  He said he is more then ready to take on the challenge of running from the back of the last chance race.  He even referenced Steven Wallace, who won back in 2004.

“Yeah, Wallace passed five cars at a time in the pits and one on the track,” said McCurley.  “I said to my crew if we make the race, you pass one in the pits each time and I’ll take care of the five on the track.”

Saturday, 12:22pm Central Time - David Rogers will be the most experienced Derby driver when they drop the green flag on Sunday.  Rogers will be making his 25th career Snowball Derby start.  Although he has never gone to victory lane, he hopes to close out the season with a win like he did at the final race at the USA International Speedway (FL) back in August.

Saturday, 12:20pm Central Time - Before qualifying yesterday, in the final practice, a car made contact with Josh Hamner's #38 and tore off a front fender.  The team has since made repairs.

Saturday, 12:15pm Central Time - The voting for the Best Car Appearance has been going hard and strong for just being an hour and 15 minutes into the voting.  200 votes have been cast and every car (of the 10 selected) have received votes.  As of now, John Bolen's #2 leads with 39 votes.  Second is Taylor Satterfield's #40 with 27 votes.   Eddie Mercer's #1 and Brian Ickler's #15 are tied for third with 22 votes, while Shane Sieg's #52 rounds out the top five with 15 votes.

Voting will continue until 11:00am Central time tomorrow, so call your friends and family and have them vote for the best appearing car at the Snowball Derby by CLICKING HERE.

Saturday, 12:00pm Central Time - Yesterday, we brought you the story of the Richie Wauters team being thrown out of the Snowball Derby.  Wauters had some harsh things to say about Ricky Brooks and his role, being that he works for Donald Long, a competitor here at Five Flags Speedway.  Brooks and Long both had things to say about Wauters' comments to Speed51.com.  Click here for reaction by Brooks and Long on the situation.

Saturday, 11:55am Central Time - Here is a slew of updates from the pit area:

Bubba Pollard is one of a dozen or so drivers who came to Pensacola with aspirations of running both races.  Step one is complete as he has put his Super Late Model in the field for tomorrow’s race.  Today’s task will be almost as hard as he hopes to lock into the field for the Snowflake 100.  With nearly 70 cars on site, qualifying might be more tense then last night.  

A lot of people will have an eye or an ear on the SEC Football Championship game today.  The Florida Gators will square off with the Alabama Crimson Tide in Atlanta, Georgia.  A good chunk of the infield is from ether Florida or Alabama.  You can see lots of people walking around with there gear supporting their team.

Keeton Hanks, teammate of John Wes Townley, is making his first appearance in the Snowflake events this weekend. Hanks is grateful for the opportunities he’s received with the support of Two Brothers Racing.

RJ Scott from the CRA Super Series was at this morning's drivers meeting and he was speading the word about the upcoming Speedfest at Lanier National Speedway (GA) in January.  Scott broke the news to us via IM during the closing moments of the Speed 51 Radio show earlier this week.

Kyle Fowler just came off the track after a mock qualifying run. He said the car was good and that he will be in the show if they run a good lap like they just did. 

Saturday, 11:50am Central Time - Augie Grill has a very special Pro Late Model ride.  First off, the car is two-for-two, having won both it’s starts earlier in the season.  The engine is also undefeated as it has won all five races it has been run in.  Perhaps the most special part of Grill’s ride is the paint scheme.  To many fans and drivers, it’s a throwback to the old cars that the late Charlie Bradberry use to race here at Five Flags Speedway and around the southeast.

“I went with that color because Charlie was a close friend and I really miss him a lot. It’s basically a tribute to him,” said Grill.  “It makes me feel good that people look at our car and think of Charlie; he was a good kid and I think about him every day.” 

Saturday, 11:45am Central Time - We found Richie Wauters!  After he was escorted from the track property when he team was disqualified on Friday, we were told that there would be nothing wrong with Wauters coming to the track to racing the racing action this weekend if he bought a ticket just like any other fans.  He cannot serve as a crew chief though.  Well, Wauters apparently couldn’t stay away from the track altogether – even if he isn’t turning wrenches.  He has been spotted sitting high in the turn one grandstands, watching practice take place.

We’re not sure if Wauters might have used any of the cash that he earned by selling his team to Gerry Gunderman to purchase his race ticket for the weekend.

Saturday, 11:45am Central Time - The Super Late Models are on track right now for their 90-minute practice session.  Jeff Fultz was the first car in line to hit the track and he had plenty of company behind him, as most of the SLM competitors are lined up on pit road to go out.

There are a few different agendas.  There are 33 teams that know they are already in the show, so they are working on their race set-ups.  Nearly as many team are having 

Saturday, 11:40am Central Time - The Snowflake practice has ended.

Saturday, 11:25am Central Time - The caution is out around the 80-minute mark of Pro Late Model practice for an incident involving Skip McCord and Jack Smith.  Both cars ended up parked nose-to-tail together on the exit of turn two.  McCord drove away with what appeared to be minor damage.  Smith wasn’t so lucky.  His #28 has damage to the right front and is requiring the services of a wrecker to bring it back to the pit area.

Currently, David Hole tops the speed charts in the session. Taylor Satterfield is right behind him as second quickest so far.

Saturday, 11:00am Central Time - It is time for the fans to vote for Speed51.com's 41st Annual Snowball Derby Best Appearing Car.  Fans, drivers, crew members and anyone that can get to a computer has 24 hours to vote for who they think has the best appearing car out of 10 cars that have been selected.  The winning car owner will receive a free hero card design, courtesy of 51 Sports and Speed51.com.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR THE BEST APPEARING CAR AT THE SNOWBALL DERBY

Saturday, 10:50am Central Time - The #88 of Robert Royce is officially out of the running to earn a Snowflake 100 starting position.  The car is heavily damaged and the team has withdrawn their entry and asked track officials to take back their transponder.

Saturday, 10:45am Central Time - The caution is out for debris on the racetrack.  The debris is actually half of the right fender from the #97 car of Jimmy Garmon. It doesn’t look like Garmon hit anything that caused him to shed his fender, it appears that it just off.  Garmon doesn’t appear very concerned though as he is staying on the track to continue practicing.

Saturday, 10:30am Central Time - Although the side of the trailer reads Kristin Wallace, it is in fact Viper Series regular Eric Wallace behind the wheel of the number #9 Pro Late Model. With several good experiences in his rear view mirror at South Alabama and elsewhere this season, Eric feels like they’ve got the experience and the car to not only make it into tonight’s race, but possibly contend for the win

Saturday, 10:27am Central Time - The red flag is out for Pro Late Model practice.  Robert Royce looped his #88 in turn two and made contact with the outside wall.  The car is damaged needed a wrecker to get it back to the pit area.

Saturday, 10:20am Central Time - Dennis Reno has hopped into the #1 Pro Late Model today and will attempt to qualify for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100.

Saturday, 10:10am Central Time - The Snowball Derby always attracts some of the best short track drivers in the country to Five Flags Speedway.  It also attracts plenty of seasoned crew members from all over the land as well.

New Englander Steve Tapley is on hand this weekend providing a second set of eyes for PASS North champion Johnny Clark.  Tapley has worked for heavy hitters like Mike Rowe, Jamie Aube, Mike Olsen, Ryan Moore and Adam Bates in the past.

Saturday, 10:07am Central Time - The Snowflake Pro Late Models are on track as their practice session has begun.

Saturday, 10:00am Central Time - Alabama 200 runner up Andy Pugh is certain he’s got a good machine for the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100. With such confidence, Pugh is excited to get out on the track for practice and show off what he’s got for tonight’s show.

Saturday, 9:45am Central Time - Ricky Brooks wasted no time at the drivers meeting to set aside the point that he does in fact work for Donald Long.  He also made it more clear for all the drivers, teams and fans when he held up a confiscated carburetor from Donald Long’s racecar.  There has been a lot of speculation about Brooks’ objectivity to tech cars here at Five Flags Speedway when he in fact works for one of the heavy-hitter teams.  Brooks did his talking and we will hear from Donald Long a little later on in our Trackside Now coverage. 

Saturday, 9:00am Central Time - Shane Sieg is back today – with a new race team.  Former car owner Richie Wauters is not here as of yet though.

On Friday, the Wauters’ #5 entry that Sieg was driving ran into some troubles in the technical inspection area.  Specifically, several sets of soaked practice tires were in the team’s possession.  The team was escorted off the premises and disqualified from the race.

Wauters then sold the team.  It wasn’t to Eddie Mercer or James Finch as he originally told Speed51.com.  Instead, it was to longtime ASA National Tour car owner Gerry Gunderman – who has fielded cars for Scott Hansen, Mark Martin and Bobby Allison in the past.

The team, which will now run the #52 on their black Super Late Model, left speedway premises yesterday and went off-site to apply new number decals.  There also made up hats with the #52 for the team and Sieg.  This morning, they rolled into the track’s pit gates and back into the same parking spot where the transporter was parked under Wauters’ helm yesterday.

Sieg will have to run a last chance race stacked with talent to get into the field of the 41st Annual Snowball Derby.  It will be a tall order, but the young NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor has his hopes up about being able to get in the show.

Wauters himself was not with the team this morning, but he might still beat the track on Sunday if he buys a ticket to the race.  So if you see him in the stands or sit next to him tomorrow, be sure to say hello.  After all, he has had a tough weekend so far.

Saturday, 8:30am Central Time - Last night's Modified finishing order was posted on mylaps.com.  Click here now for the complete finishing results.

Saturday, 8:15am Central Time - This week, Speed51.com and MotorsportsLounge.com opened up the official Speed51.com Snowball Derby discussion forum.  View and join the discussion on this week's racing action here at Five Flags Speedway.  We will be poking in there from time to time, and if we can, we will answer your questions about the happenings at the track.  Click here now for the discussion forum (or click the link at the top of the Trackside Now pages).

Saturday, 08:00am Central Time - It is another brisk morning here at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, for the Saturday show of the Snowball Derby weekend, but we are set for some great on-track action.  Contrary to the beliefs of some drivers and teams that left early, the Modified race is still not going on this morning as it ended  

There will be practice sessions for the Snowball and Snowflake cars, prior to the Snowflake qualifying.  After the 'Flake cars take their qualifying laps, the final Snowball Derby qualifier will hit the track, followed by the Snowflake qualifier races leading up to the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model event.

Here is today's schedule:

8:00 AM Pits Open
9:00 AM Drivers Meeting
10:00-11:30 AM Snowflake Practice only
11:30-1:00 PM Snowball Derby Practice only
Snowflake cars to Pre-Qualifying Tech
2:00 PM Snowflake 100 Qualifying (Lock in 30)
4:00 PM Snowball Derby Qualifier (50 Laps Transfer 6)
5:00 PM Snowflake Qualifier #1 (25 Laps Transfer 3)
Snowflake Qualifier #2 (25 Laps Transfer 3)
6:45 PM Pre Race Festivities
7:00 PM ALLEN TURNER "Snowflake 100" (100 Green Laps)

TRACKSIDE NOW COVERAGE EARLIER THIS WEEK
Friday, Dec. 5th - click here now
Thursday, Dec. 4th - click here now
Wednesday, Dec. 3rd - click here now

Wow ... what a bunch of #10 cars here.  (51 Sports photo)
Jimmy Wiggins is the head scorer.  (51 Sports photo)
Danny Spence (L) is the flagman, while his dad Dan (r) is the race director  (51 Sports photo)
David Rogers in his car.  (51 Sports photo)
Speed is everything here at the Derby.  (51 Sports photo)
The line for Snowflake tech.  (51 Sports photo)
Scott Carlson is a multi time Blizzard Series Champion.  (51 Sports photo)
BDI Racing is selling their race vehicle ... but not the Super Late Model.  The Rocket Barstool is for sale.  Bring $850 cash to the BDI trailer this weekend and it is yours.  (51 Sports photo)
David Pavlock (left) interviews Allen Turner (right), owner of Allen Turner Hyundai.  (51 Sports photo)
Matt Hawkin's crew worked on their engine issues last night  (51 Sports photo)
Anyone up in the midwest know these goofy guys from the CRA?  Feel free to call them on their cell phones and say you saw them on Speed51.com's Snowball Derby Trackside Now coverage.  (51 Sports photo)
Jason Young earned the pole position for the Snowflake 100 event.  (51 Sports photo)
Contact from Shane Sieg's car to Benny Gordon's car sent Gordon for a spin in the last-chance qualifier (top and middle), which resulted in a heated discussion between the crew members after the race.  (Jamie Williams photos)
Seth Holbrook (left) of Kyle Busch Motorsports discusses the Derby last chance race with Ricky Brooks (right).  (Jamie Williams photo)