Sunday, 8:20pm Central Time - That is it for us here at Five Flags Speedway for the 41st Annual Snowball Derby event in Pensacola, Florida. All of us here at Speed51.com want to thank everyone for their positive comments on our coverage this week. We all enjoyed bringing you the up-to-the-minute coverage for five days and hope you enjoyed it as well.
Make sure to visit the Speed51.com Snowball Derby discussion forum at Motorsports Lounge, which will be kept open for post-race discussion as well as pre-event discussion on the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby. click here for the discussion forum
Stay tuned to Speed51.com in the coming weeks for more news and notes from the Snowball Derby week.
Sunday, 8:15pm Central Time - Augie Grill has won his second straight Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. The victory did not occur on the racetrack, but in the technical inspection area after the race.
Approximately 90 minutes after Brian Ickler took the checkered flag, track owner Tim Bryant, chief technical inspector Ricky Brooks and race director Dan Spence assembled at the flagstand for a private discussion. After the conclusion of that talk, Brooks hopped into a dually pick-up truck and headed back to the tech shed. Moments later, an additional six police cruisers arrived at the track and officers stood by the tech area. Nobody was talking about the situation officially, but everyone who was standing by knew something big was going on.
After several minutes, Brooks emerged from the tech shed with the winner’s trophy. Without saying a word, Brooks placed the trophy on the roof of Grill’s car to the cheers of his family, friends, fans and crew.
Meanwhile, Ickler walked slowly away from the tech area and back to his transporter – obviously very dejected.
The reason for the ruling was the placement of an electric brake blower onto the tire and wheel. This is forbidden in the Five Flags Speedway rulebook.
Grill’s car passed technical inspection and he will go down as the official winner of the event.
With the change, Grant Enfinger now moves up to second place. He was followed in the rundown by Matt Hawkins, Shane Sieg, Bubba Pollard, David Rodgers, Hunter Robbins, Dennis Schoenfeld, Heath Hindman and Paul Kelley.
1112Augie Grill 282Grant Enfinger 322Matt Hawkins 452Shane Sieg 526Bubba Pollard 611David Rodgers 76Hunter Robbins 843Dennis Schoenfeld 991Heath Hindman 1023Paul Kelley 112John Bolen 1251HAlex Haase 1354Johnny Clark 1451Ryan Preece 1598Justin Wakefield 160David Hole 1731Tyler Millwood 1821Scott Carlson 1966Benny Gordon 207Gary St. Amant 2182WDonnie Wilson 2238HJosh Hamner 2370Joey Senter 2472Scott Hantz 2584Wayne Anderson 2639Ryan Sieg 2794Mitch Cobb 2844Gary Helton 2910LJohanna Long 3027Jason Young 311Eddie Mercer 3211LDonald Long 3349Stanley Smith 341MTim Martin 3567Jeff Fultz 3641Chris Davidson 3710CRyan Crane 3890Tim Curry 3999SCasey Smith 4002Matt Smith DQ15Brian Ickler
Sunday, 7:10pm Central Time - We are being told that Brian Ickler has been disqualified and Augie Grill is the winner of the 41st Annual Snowball Derby.
We are still here sorting out what is going on and will not be leaving for a bit. Stay tuned for more information.
Sunday, 7:05pm Central Time - Ricky Brooks has just placed the winner's trophy on Augie Grill's car and walked back into the tech shed without saying anythng. There were some cheers from the Grill supporters.
Sunday, 7:00pm Central Time - The tech area is a busy place right now. We will have more in a short bit on what is going on.
Sunday, 6:45pm Central Time - Miss the radio coverage? Relive the event on RaceTalkRadio.com's archive of the event by clicking here.
Sunday, 6:30pm Central Time - We are still here at the track, awaiting word from tech before we post the complete results. We are also downloading some photos from the day and will have a few photos from the race shortly.
Sunday, 5:03pm Central Time - CHECKERED FLAG: Brian Ickler has won the 41st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flag Speedway. Augie Grill tried to work his way to Ickler in the closing laps, but ran out of time, finishing second. Grant Enfinger was third, followed by Matt Hawkins and Shane Sieg.
We will have more shortly.
Sunday, 5:01pm Central Time - Just 10 laps remain in the Derby. Brian Ickler has a decent lead, but with 11 laps to go, Augie Grill worked his way around Grant Enfinger and is trying to catch Ickler. Will he have time?
Sunday, 4:57pm Central Time - At lap 280, there are just 20 laps to go. Brian Ickler leads Grant Enfinger, Augie Grill, Matt Hawkins and Shane Sieg.
Sunday, 4:55pm Central Time - Grant Enfinger is trying to work his way to the rear bumper of Brian Ickler after this restart. Meanwhile, Augie Grill is trying to work his way around lapped traffic to get to the two leaders.
Sunday, 4:54pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 269 with the running order as (lead lap cars): Brian Ickler, Grant Enfinger, Matt Hawkins, Augie Grill, Shane Sieg, David Rogers, Hunter Robbins and Bubba Pollard.
Sunday, 4:52pm Central Time - The trailing arm bracket broke on Josh Hamner's car, which is what took him out of this race the caution before.
Sunday, 4:50pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 263 - Scott Carlson got crossed up coming off turn four. He tried to avoid wrecking, but couldn't. Behind him, many cars piled up, including Ryan Preece, Benny Gordon, Gary St. Amant, Donnie Wilson, David Hole and Paul Kelley. A few have minor damage while others have some more severe damage. Everyone pulled away, but some hoods and front ends are pretty smashed up.
Sunday, 4:48pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 261
Sunday, 4:48pm Central Time - Josh Hamner has pulled onto pit road with a possible track bar problem.
Sunday, 4:47pm Central Time - Hunter Robbins has spun and backed his car into the turn four wall.
The running order hasn't changed up front. This will be a quickie yellow as Robbins pulled off from the wreck.
Sunday, 4:45pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 256
Sunday, 4:43pm Central Time - The running order (lead lap cars only): Brian Ickler, Josh Hamner, Matt Hawkins, Grant Enfinger, Scott Carlson, Shane Sieg, Augie Grill, David Rogers and Hunter Robbins.
Sunday, 4:42pm Central Time - All lapped cars have pitted, except Hunter Robbins, who stayed out and has made up the lap.
Sunday, 4:41pm Central Time - Pitting: Brian Ickler, Augie Grill, Shane Sieg, Grant Enfinger, Matt Hawkins, Scott Carlson, Josh Hamner and David Rogers. Those are the only lead lap cars at this point.
Sunday, 4:38pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 248 - Benny Gordon went for a spin in turn two.
Sunday, 4:37pm Central Time - Due to heavy lapped traffic, Augie Grill has closed the gap a bit on Brian Ickler, who still leads.
Sunday, 4:33pm Central Time - The top five at lap 230: Brian Ickler, Augie Grill, Shane Sieg, Grant Enfinger and Matt Hawkins
Sunday, 4:31pm Central Time - The Scott Hantz machine rolled by the front stretch with a engine not sounding right. He slowed and has pulled off the track and into the pits. His crew is now pushing his car off pit road and into the infield. He looks like he is done.
Sunday, 4:29pm Central Time - At lap 215, Brian Ickler has worked his way to the lead. Scott Hantz battled side by side with Ickler for a few laps, trying to hold the top spot, but had to surrender to the fast-moving #15.
Sunday, 4:27pm Central Time - The driver on the move in Brian Ickler. He is now in second, making a charge to the leader Scott Hantz.
Sunday, 4:25pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 207 - The top five: Scott Hantz, Bubba Pollard, Paul Kelley, Alex Haase, John Bolen.
Sunday, 4:22pm Central Time - Mitch Cobb was also upset, blaming Grant Enfinger for the incident, however he wasn't nearly as agitated as Wayne Anderson was.
Ryan Sieg said things happened so quick, he didn't know exactly what happened on the track.
We are back rolling under a "rolling red" condition.
Sunday, 4:18pm Central Time - RED FLAG: LAP 206 - The red flag is out to clean up the big mess. All drivers walked away.
Wayne Anderson got out of his car, appearing quite upset. He was walking down pit road when we caught up with him. We would print what he said, but there were a lot of four-letter words used.
As Anderson was walking down pit road, Grant Enfinger drove by. Anderson stood in front of the car and swatted at it with both hands, possibly making contact with it.
Sunday, 4:16pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 206 - Ryan Sieg and Mitch Cobb went hard into the turn one wall. Grant Enfinger and Wayne Anderson also were involved.
Sunday, 4:12pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 203
Sunday, 4:11pm Central Time - The new top five drivers, after pit stops, are: Scott Hantz, Bubba Pollard, Paul Kelley, Alex Haase and Donnie Wilson.
Sunday, 4:09pm Central Time - Lead lap cars pitting are: Augie Grill, Josh Hamner, Ryan Sieg, Brian Ickler, Scott Carlson, David Rogers, Matt Hawkins, Mitch Cobb, Shane Sieg, Grant Enfinger and Benny Gordon. Scott Hantz stayed out to take the lead.
Sunday, 4:07pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 196 - Debris visable from the tower here is sitting in turn one, bringing out the yellow.
Sunday, 4:04pm Central Time - While Augie Grill stll leads, back in the pack Shane Sieg and Benny Gordon have continued their feud from yesterday. They have gotten together a few times during the race today and did once again. Neither has wrecked the other though today.
John Bolen and Hunter Robbins have both driven around Grill to get their lap back. Digging to do the same is Wayne Anderson, Johnny Clark, Gary St. Amant and Ryan Preece.
Sunday, 3:59pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 175
Sunday, 3:57pm Central Time - Top ten: Augie Grill, Brian Ickler, Josh Hamner, Grant Enfinger, Ryan Sieg, Matt Hawkins, Mitch Cobb, Shane Sieg, Scott Carlson.
Sunday, 3:56pm Central Time - Lead lap cars pitting this time: Scott Hantz, David Rogers, Alex Haase, Heath Hindman, Paul Kelley and Bubba Pollard.
Multiple lapped cars pitted, including Ryan Preece, Gary St. Amant, Tyler Millwood and Hunter Robbins.
Millwood lost another lap by not getting out of pit road in time before the pace car could get by.
Sunday, 3:53pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 167 - Johanna Long has gone head first into the wall coming off turn two, shortening up her car. Thankfully, she is reported as being ok.
Sunday, 3:49pm Central Time - Jason Young's promising weekend has concluded. After getting wrecked out of the lead in the Snowflake 100 yesterday by a lapped car, today his car just hasn't been right. He has now pulled into the pits and is out of the race.
Sunday, 3:48pm Central Time - At halfway, the top five are: Augie Grill, Brian Ickler, Matt Hawkins, Josh Hamner and Grant Enfinger.
Johnny Clark is way off the pace and has gone a lap down on the track.
Sunday, 3:44pm Central Time - Augie Grill wasted no time, taking the lead from Heath Hindman at lap 137.
Scott Carlson is struggling bad, sliding all over the place and getting hit in the rear in the process.
Sunday, 3:43pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 136 (top five: Heath Hindman, Augie Grill, Matt Hawkins, Scott Hantz and Scott Carlson)
Sunday, 3:41pm Central Time - Pitted where: David Rogers, Bubba Pollard, Wayne Anderson, Donnie Wilson, Benny Gordon, Gary Helton and David Hole.
Sunday, 3:38pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 129 - Heath Hindman made contact with the back end of Wayne Anderson coming off turn two, sending Anderson into a spin. Donald Long ran into Anderson. David Hole and Eddie Mercer hit the inside wall. Josh Hamner was around it, but didn't appear to be in it.
During the yellow, Anderson pulled up alongside Hindman, taking two swipes at him on the back stretch.
Sunday, 3:34pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 124
Sunday, 3:31pm Central Time - The top five has jumbled a bit as some drivers with fresher tires are moving their way up to the front. The current top five: Wayne Anderson, Heath Hindman, Scott Carlson, Johanna Long and Scott Hantz.
Stanley Smith has pulled behind the wall and appears to be out.
Sunday, 3:30pm Central Time - In the pits this time around: Alex Haase, David Rogers, Stanley Smith and Justin Wakefield.
Sunday, 3:29pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 115 - Stanley Smith spun on the front stretch. Gary Helton made light contact with him as he was stopped on the track.
Joey Senter is coming back on the track after being involved in an earlier yellow.
Augie Grill reports that he has "one bad beast" out there.
Sunday, 3:25pm Central Time - Wayne Anderson still leads.
Sunday, 3:24pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 107
Sunday, 3:24pm Central Time - Top five: Wayne Anderson, Heath Hindman, Bubba Pollard, Benny Gordon, Scott Carlson
Sunday, 3:22pm Central Time - Wholesale pitstops are happening. On pit road are Eddie Mercer, Augie Grill, Josh Hamner, Grant Enfinger, Ryan Sieg, Johnny Clark, Gary Helton, Ryan Ickler, Donald Long, Gary St. Amant, Alex Haase, Matt Hawkins, Mitch Cobb and Shane Sieg.
Grill has come off pit road first while. John Bolen and Ryan Preece are now back on the lead lap.
Wayne Anderson is now the leader while Jeff Fultz has dropped out of the race..
Sunday, 3:18pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 99 - David Rodgers, Jeff Fultz and Chris Davidson were involved in a wreck coming off turn four. All were able to drive away.
The top five before pit stops are: Eddie Mercer, Augie Grill, Josh Hamner, Grant Enfinger, Ryan Sieg
Sunday, 3:15pm Central Time - Ryan Preece has worked his way around Eddie Mercer to get his lap back. Paul Kelley and John Bolen are right behind Mercer, trying to do the same, but Kelley appeared to have glanced off the wall a bit. Running second on the track is Grant Enfinger.
Also, Tyler Millwood has gone back onto the track. He doesn't appear to have any damage, so maybe his car just quit on the track.
90 laps are complete.
Sunday, 3:12pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 80 - Eddie Mercer leads.
Sunday, 3:11pm Central Time - Ryan Crane told us that it is just not his weekend.
Tyler Millwood also came in on the hook. We didn't see him involved, but somehow he was.
Benny Gordon moved into the pit stall vacated by Casey Smith.
Sunday, 3:09pm Central Time - Those pitting are Johanna Long, Hunter Robbins and Jeff Fultz.
Fultz had the hood off and had to take off from pit road without it to keep from going a lap down. He will be back in to get it attached.
Chris Davidson and Justin Wakefield also pitted.
Sunday, 3:06pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 72 - Ryan Crane and Tim Currey wrecked in turn three. Crane drove back to the pits with heavy right front damage, pulling behind the wall. Currey needs a wrecker to get off the track.
Sunday, 3:05pm Central Time - Eddie Mercer has worked his way by Grant Enfinger on lap 71 to take the lead.
Sunday, 3:02pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 67 - Grant Enfinger leads Eddie Mercer (who passed Johanna Long right beore the yellow came out) and the rest of the pack under the flag stand once again.
Sunday, 3:00pm Central Time - Paul Kelley has pitted during this yellow, as well as John Bolen.
The top five hasn't changed since the last restart.
Sunday, 2:58pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 60 - John Bolen stopped in turn two, drawing the yellow. Officials have said he is now a lap down.
Scott Carlson and Stanley Smith both got a lap back.
Sunday, 2:57pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 59 - Grant Enfinger leads Johanna Long and the rest of the pack under the flag stand.
Sunday, 2:52pm Central Time - Lapped cars now will be lining up inside the leaders.
Sunday, 2:52pm Central Time - Tim Martin said that by the time he heard the caution was out, he was already getting run into. Martin was going to try to come back out, but he was leaking fluid.
Ryan Preece and Wayne Anderson have also now pitted.
The top five: Grant Enfinger, Johanna Long, Eddie Mercer, Josh Hamner and Ryan Sieg
Sunday, 2:48pm Central Time - We are now back rolling under a rolling red, which means no one can lose a lap during the rolling red time frame.
Pitting now with pit road open are Ryan Crane, Benny Gordon, David Hole, Jason Young, Stanley Smith, Heath Hindman, Tyler Millwood and Scott Carlson.
Sunday, 2:46pm Central Time - Our pit reporter Elgin Traylor caught up with Casey Smith, who was walking briskly down pit road after the incident in turn three. He said he is very upset about getting run over after the caution came out.
Sunday, 2:44pm Central Time - RED FLAG: LAP 59 - Due to the carnage on the track, the officials have thrown the red flag to clean it up.
Jeff Fultz and Scott Hantz both pitted while pit road was closed. The Hantz crew has the car jacked up and the hood up.
Bubba Pollard passed the pace car, came in under the red and changed tires. Paul Kelley just did the same thing as well as Donnie Wilson, so they have to start at the rear.
Sunday, 2:39pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 56 - Scott Carlson spun in turn three and didn't hit anything. He kept going, but behind him, well after the yellow was thrown, Tim Martin and Casey Smith got together and wrecked hard. Smith got out of his car, ran over to the driver's window of Martin's car, showing some obvious displeasure.
Meanwhile, Scott Hantz pulled down pit road with a flat right front tire.
Sunday, 2:36pm Central Time - At the 50-lap mark, Grant Enfinger still leads Johanna Long as the leaders are in heavy lapped traffic. Eddie Mercer runs third, followed by Josh Hamner and Ryan Sieg.
Sunday, 2:34pm Central Time - Tyler Millwood just about lost it on the front stretch as the other cars scattered around him on both sides to get by, but everyone kept going.
Sunday, 2:33pm Central Time - It is hard to tell if the racers are just being patient right now or not. There has been some close racing all the way through the field, but it is pretty much nose to tail all the way around the track.
Chris Davidson is the first car to go a lap down on the track.
Sunday, 2:30pm Central Time - Grant Enfinger held onto the lead at the restart, but Johanna Long isn't letting him get out to a big lead.
Sunday, 2:29pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 30 - Grant Enfinger leads the pack to turn one.
Also, Matt Smith is officially out due to damage.
Sunday, 2:27pm Central Time - Coming down to pit, now that pit road is open, are Jason Young, Heath Hindman, Bubba Pollard and Chris Davidson.
Sunday, 2:25pm Central Time - The pits have been closed a few laps while cleanup occured.
Grant Enfinger reports that his car is real strong and he is happy with it.
Sunday, 2:23pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 22 - Two cars smacked the turn two wall, including Joey Senter and Matt Smith. Senter drove away, but Smith needs the wrecker.
Also, right before the incident, Jason Young started to slow on the track.
Up front, the top five are Grant Enfinger, Johanna Long, Eddie Mercer, Josh Hamner and Ryan Sieg.
Sunday, 2:21pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG LAP 21
Sunday, 2:20pm Central Time - Ryan Preece had to make a stop and go in the pits for pitting to early. Stanley Smith, Bubba Pollard and Chris Davidson all pitted as well.
Pollard had a radio problem and a tire rub, thus why they pitted.
Sunday, 2:17pm Central Time - YELLOW FLAG: LAP 15 - While battling for fifth, Shane Sieg and Ryan Crane got together. Crane spun with no other contact and was able to get back going.
Sunday, 2:16pm Central Time - With 10 laps complete, Grant Enfinger holds the top spot over Johanna Long, who has moved to second. Eddie Mercer is third, followed by Josh Hamner and Ryan Crane.
Chris Davidson has dropped to the rear and is fading fast.
Sunday, 2:13pm Central Time - Mitch Cobb got the jump over Grant Enfinger on the start, but he couldn't clear Grant Enfinger, who pulled back into the lead as they headed back to turn one after completing a lap.
Sunday, 2:11pm Central Time - GREEN FLAG: The 41st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway has started as Grant Enfinger and Mitch Cobb flash under the flag stand, heading to turn one.
Sunday, 2:08pm Central Time - We are just about set to drop the green flag for 300 laps of action.
Sunday, 2:06pm Central Time - Matt Hawkins will have to drop to the rear of the field on the start for an engine chance on his #22 car.
For the first time in Snowball Derby history, there is a father and daughter combination in the field. Donald Long and his 16-year old daughter Johanna are racing together today.
“It is really special for her to come as far as she has in such a short amount of time,” said Donald. “We’ve given her a lot of tools to work with, but she has really made the most of those.”
“This has just been a really big dream of mine since I was little,” said Johanna – who will start sixth today in her first Snowball Derby attempt.
The pit stall of Johnny Clark’s #54 team is locked in on the back side by a concession stand. Without having much room to work with, the team requested permission to keep their tires on the roof of the stand and pass those tires down when they are needed. That permission was granted, so they’ll need the tallest guy on the team to serve as a tire carrier today.
Josh Hamner was on the winning pit crew for the late Charlie Bradberry in 2003. He hopes to add to that fond memory today by following in his mentor’s footsteps by becoming a Derby winner.
“When Charlie won, he won in a special way. The only way that could ever e topped for me is to win the race myself,” said Hamner.
Sunday, 2:04pm Central Time - The cars have rolled off from the front stretch.
Sunday, 2:01pm Central Time - The National Anthem has been sung, and the command has been given: the field has come to life and we are moments away from the start of the 41st Annual Snowball Derby.
Sunday, 1:55pm Central Time - During driver introductions, there were a few competitors who shared their thoughts heading into the race. Here are a few of those:
“I have a whole lot better racecar than I did in qualifying.” – Wayne Anderson
“We had a little mishap in tech and we have to start shotgun on the field, but I feel pretty good about our chances of coming right up through.” – Augie Grill
“I hope that we can make it through and bring home the checkered flag.” – Scott Carlson
“This is definitely the biggest race that I enter all year long.”- Gary St. Amant
“These [Super Late Models] are awesome cars to drive and I wish that I could do this more often.” – Brian Ickler
“It’s cool to be in a full bodied car. There’s a stout crowd out there today and we wouldn’t be racing if it wasn’t for all of you.” – Ryan Preece
“This race gets harder, but it never gets old. This might be my last one. We’ll have to wait and see.” – Stanley Smith
“It would be huge if we could win this race. It’s the Daytona of short track racing.” – Dennis Schoenfeld
“This is just the greatest race. It would be the best race of the year to win.” – Gary Helton
“This is the best driving car I have had all year and I’ve been fast in a lot of places.” – Casey Smith
“We came close last year. We wanted to give it another try.” – Matt Hawkins
“I just hope to make it until the end.” – Heath Hindman
“Just to be in this race is huge.”- Jeff Fultz
“My throttle must have hung or something because I’m starting at the wrong end of the field.”- David Rodgers (who qualified in the top 10)
“We just have to make it until lap 250 and then we’ll see if we can win it.” – Ryan Sieg.
“It’s always a special time of the year when it’s Derby time.” – Tim Martin
“The first time that I ever saw a Late Model race was here two years ago. Now I’m on the front row here and it is unreal.” – Mitch Cobb
“This is just really special. Just to make this race is big, but to win it is a dream come true.” – Grant Enfinger
Sunday, 1:45pm Central Time - A total of 2227 votes were cast in 24 hours for the Speed51.com Snowball Derby Best Appearing Car. 10 cars were selected for the vote, and the fans have spoken. With 744 votes, the #52 driven by Shane Sieg, has won the best appearing car vote.
Gerry Gunderman, the car owner for the #52, has won a free hero card design, courtesy of 51 Sports and Speed51.com.
Here are the voting totals:
744 Votes = #52 - Shane Sieg ( 33% )
655 Votes = #40 - Taylor Satterfield ( 29% )
307 Votes = #2 - John Bolen ( 14% )
182 Votes = #15 - Brian Ickler ( 8% )
100 Votes = #1 - Eddie Mercer ( 4% )
65 Votes = #51 - Alex Haase ( 3% )
60 Votes = #51 - Ryan Preece ( 3% )
46 Votes = #66 - Benny Gordon ( 2% )
40 Votes = #2 - DJ Vanderley ( 2% )
28 Votes = #32 - Skip McCord ( 1% )
Thanks to all those that voted!
Sunday, 1:15pm Central Time - The race cars are lined up on the frontstretch, the fans are filling the stands. Drivers are suited up and milling around waiting to take the stage to be introduced to the crowd and a few will even be honored with special awards. The parking lots have been full for hours – with some fans having camped out all weekend and others setting up a raceday spot in the infield. Others are being bused in from a remote parking lot down the road. The track vendors are tending to long lines and souvenir row. Kyle Busch is here. As is Dave Blaney, Rick Crawford and a host of other top names in the sport. One driver (Stanley Smith) has even been flying to the track in his helicopter this week.
It’s raceday and we’re not at Daytona, Darlington or Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This isn’t the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It’s even better. It’s the biggest asphalt short track race of the year in the land – it’s the 41st Annual Snowball Derby and it’s going to be getting underway shortly.
We’ve got the whole Speed51.com team in place ready to roll and we’ve also teamed up with the folks at RaceTalkRadio.com to simulcast the race live. Just go to RaceTalkRadio.com and click on the Listen Live button on the top right side of the page.
Sunday, 12:55pm Central Time - We are all heading down to the track for driver intros. We will be back before the start of the race.
Sunday, 12:45pm Central Time - We have uploaded the lastest updates for Gary St. Amant's Derby Diary, Wayne Anderson's Wayne's World and Ryan Preece's Derby Blog. Click the links below to view them:
Sunday, 11:45am Central Time - We are heading down to grab some food before everything starts. We will be back soon.
Sunday, 11:40am Central Time - While we prepare for pre-race festivities, here is the starting lineup for the 41st Annual Snowball Derby as well as information on each driver.
Click here for a photo of the line-up sheet provided to the fans here at the track.
82 Grant Enfinger will be making his fifth Snowball Derby start. his best career finish is 13th. Enfinger won the Rattler 250 earlier this season.
94 Mitch Cobb is a Snowball Derby rookie. He was third in the 2008 Blizzard Series points here at Five Flags Speedway.
38 Josh Hamner will be making his fourth Snowball Derby start. He won the 2008 Blizzard Series Championship here at Five Flags Speedway.
10L Johanna Long is a Snowball Derby rookie. She won the 2008 Pro Late Model track championship here at Five Flags Speedway.
10C Ryan Crane will be making his fifth Snowball Derby start. His best career finish was third back in 2006.
1 Eddie Mercer will be making his 20th career start in the Snowball Derby. He won the 2005 Derby.
1 Tim Martin will be making his second start in the Snowball Derby. He was 31st in his only Derby start.
39 Ryan Sieg will be making his third start in the Snowball Derby. His best finish has been 35th.
11 David Rogers will be making his 25th start in the Snowball Derby. His best career finish is a fourth.
67 Jeff Fultz will be making his third career Snowball Derby start. He was third here in 2007.
91 Heath Hindman will be making his second Snowball Derby start. He finished 34th a year ago.
22 Matt Hawkins will be making his third Snowball Derby start. He was the runner-up here a year ago.
72 Scott Hantz will be in his fourth Snowball Derby start. His best finish is a ninth-place run.
99S Casey Smith will be making his fifth Snowball Derby start. He finished third back in 2003.
44 Gary Helton will be making his fifth Snowball Derby start. He is still looking for his first top-10 run.
43 Dennis Schoenfeld is a Snowball Derby rookie.
27 Jason Young will be making his third Snowball Derby start. His best run was a 20th back in 2006.
02 Matt Smith is a Snowball Derby rookie.
10 Joey Senter is making his third Snowball Derby start. His best finish is a sixth-place run back in 2006.
54 Johnny Clark is back for the third time. He finished 10th in 2006.
90 Tim Curry will be making his third Snowball Derby start. The Michigan driver is still looking for his first top-10 finish.
23 Paul Kelley is a Snowball Derby rookie. He is a three-time World Crown 300 winner at Peach State Speedway (GA).
6 Hunter Robbins will be in his third Snowball Derby race. Robbins won his first USAR Pro Cup race earlier this season.
49 Stanley Smith will be making his 17th Snowball Derby start. His best career finish was an 11th.
0 David Hole will be making his ninth Snowball Derby start. He is still looking for his first top 10.
31 Tyler Millwood is a Snowball Derby rookie. He finished fifth in ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour points.
26 Bubba Pollard is a Snowball Derby rookie. Pollard won one of the Blizzard races earlier this season.
11 Donald Long will be making his 12th Snowball Derby appearance. Sixth is his best run.
98 Justin Wakefield is a Snowball Derby rookie. The PASS South regular won two races this season.
51 Ryan Preece is a Snowball Derby rookie. The 18-year old Modified standout won the Made in America 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
15 Brian Ickler is a Snowball Derby rookie. He won several NASCAR Camping World East events.
82 Donnie Wilson is a Snowball Derby rookie. He finished 11th in Blizzard Series points here at Five Flags Speedway.
41 Chris Davidson is making his sixth Snowball Derby start. He finished fourth back in 2002.
2 John Bolen is a Snowball Derby rookie. He won a pair of races at Birmingham International Raceway this season.
7 Gary St. Amant will be making his 13th start in the Snowball Derby. He won the race in 1992 and 2000.
52 Shane Sieg is a Snowball Derby rookie. Sieg will spend 2009 as a part-time driver in the Camping World Truck Series.
21 Scott Carlson will be making his 15th start in the Snowball Derby. His best finish was fourth back in 1999.
112 Augie Grill is the defending champion of the Snowball Derby. This will be his fourth start in this race.
Wayne Anderson will be making his eighth Snowball Derby start. He won back in 2001.
Alex Haase is a Snowball Derby rookie. He won the 2008 PASS South Series Championship.
66 Benny Gordon will be making his second Snowball Derby start. He won this year’s USAR Pro Cup championship.
Sunday, 11:15am Central Time - There is an air ambulance helicopter that is landing in the infield to assist the victim of a motorized-vehicle incident. That accident took place this morning near the tech area and involved someone not associated with a race team. Heavy traffic around the track area, as fans head to the speedway this morning, has made the decision to call in a helicopter a prudent one.
Sunday, 11:00am Central Time - The voting has closed for the Best Appearing Car award. We will announce the winner later today.
Sunday, 10:45am Central Time - Here is an update to our Trackside Now coverage from last night’s Snowflake 100. We reported that there was an altercation in the turn three area that resulted in one person injured his wrist. Reportedly, that incident was not racing-based and turned out to be a fight between two college football fans who apparently had differing loyalties to Alabama and Florida.
Sunday, 10:40am Central Time - The driver’s meeting for the 41st Annual Snowball Derby has wrapped up. If you are reading this right now, you probably didn’t go. So we’ll fill you in.
Teams will be allowed to start their engines briefly in the impound area at Noon so that they can check for any leaks or problems. Teams will not be allowed to take off their hoods for this activity.
Race Director Dan Spence, Sr. told teams that the pit road speed today is going to be 30 miles per hour. There will be no passing on pit road either.
Spence specifically cautioned teams to not “play any games with the field” on the initial start and restarts. He warned teams not to brake-check their competitors. Once the pace car drops off the track, drivers are supposed to either maintain pace car speed or increase it slightly. They aren’t supposed to slow down and jam up the field behind them.
On the initial start, if all of the cars cross the start-finish line, the start will count. If anyone doesn’t make it to the start line, the race will start again.
Spence told teams to respect the leaders if you are a lapped car. Leaders should be able to get by on the outside. Any lapped car that consistently blocks a leader will be warned and eventually parked for the day.
“I’ve got a couple of good ole’ Southern boys down here who talk really slow,” joked Spence. “We’ll get them to buy you a Coke and talk your ear off.”
The race must end with five green flags laps from lap 295 onwards, but they don’t have to be consecutive laps. Therefore, the race could go beyond 300 laps in length.
On the last lap, if the track is completely blocked, the red flag will come out. If that happens, a green/white/checkered finish will take place. If the yellow comes out on the last lap, drivers will race back to the finish line.
Only the top three cars after the race get the priviledge of going to technical inspection. Last night, that lasted until well after midnight…but the wait is worth it for a podium finish in the Snowball Derby.
Questions were fielded at the end of the meeting and that was good for a little bit of humor provided by Freddie Query.
“How many crew members are allowed to take part in a pit stop,” Query asked.
The track officials weren’t sure of an answer since there had never been a rule about it. So they asked Query how many crew members that he had.
“Uh…..16!” was the response.
So you might expect the Johanna Long pit stall to be a very crowded place.
Sunday, 10:30am Central Time - Is this the year for Matt Hawkins? Looking at Derby history, several drivers had to finish second before winning the race. Hawkins was second here in 2007. Could he add his name to this list?
Drivers who finished second before winning the Snowball Derby:
Darrell Waltrip 1972 1976
Freddy Fryar 1971 1979
Jody Ridley 1980 1985
Butch Miller 84,86 1987
Rick Crawford 1988 1989
Rich Bickle Jr. 1989 90,91,96,98,99
Jeff Purvis 91,92 1995
Eddie Mercer 94,97,04 2005
Sunday, 10:25am Central Time - Some Derby notes:
Breaking down today’s line up, we have 41 drivers from 16 different states. The states represented include: Florida (9), Georgia (9), Alabama (4), Texas (4), North Carolina (3), Tennessee (2), Louisiana, Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Nevada.
We also have four former winners in the field, Augie Grill (2007), Eddie Mercer (2005), Wayne Anderson (2001) and Gary St. Amant (1992, 2000).
As for the Rookies we have a total of 14 first time Snowball drivers. Those drivers include Mitch Cobb, Johanna Long, Dennis Schoenfeld, Matt Smith, Paul Kelley, Tyler Millwood, Bubba Pollard, Justin Wakefield, Ryan Preece, Brian Ickler, Donnie Wilson, John Bolen, Shane Sieg, and Alex Haase.
We also have nine drivers running today that ran in last night’s Snowflake 100. Some did not fair as well as others. Their results? Josh Hamner (30th) , Johanna Long (27th), Ryan Crane (2nd) , Matt Smith (35th) , Paul Kelley (4th), Bubba Pollard (6th), Tyler Millwood (16th), Jason Young (27th) and Augie Grill (20th)
Sunday, 10:15am Central Time - There is just 45 minutes left for everyone to vote for the Speed51.com Snowball Derby Best Appearing Car. click here now to vote
Sunday, 10:05am Central Time - Early this AM, between the time we left at 12:30am and arrived just before 8:00am, the track crew was busy repainting the walls, removing all the tire marks from the action earlier this week.
Sunday, 10:00am Central Time - As the driver's meeting is finishing up, the worship service is taking place on the front stretch for anyone who is here this morning.
Sunday, 9:30am Central Time - The haulers are slowly making their way out of the track area. All cars are on jackstands without any tires at all in the pits since the rubber was impounded.
Sunday, 9:00am Central Time - As the haulers get ready to roll out, the stage is rolling in. That’s right – behind a Chevrolet Pick-Up truck is a construction trailer with a large 41st Annual Snowball Derby sign on it. That will be set-up on the frontstretch to give the fans a Cup-style driver introduction show. Those introductions will be called out by Speed51.com’s own (when we aren’t sharing him with SPEED TV) Bob Dillner.
Sunday, 8:45am Central Time - There are a couple ways to enjoy the 41st Annual Snowball Derby if you cannot make it to the track. The first is our coverage here at Speed51.com, where we will bring you all of the action leading up to the big race as well as during the event and post-race news and information. The second is to listen to the action live on www.racetalkradio.com as Speed 51 Radio and Race Talk Radio plug directly into the track's audio feed of the race.
Sunday, 8:30am Central Time - David Hole had engine problems yesterday in practice with his Super Late Model. That changed his gameplan for the weekend. He withdrew his Pro Late Model from Saturday night’s Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 and instead utilized it as a back-up car for the Snowball Derby. The car will be down on power, but that might not be a bad thing for today’s 300-lap race. It should help Hole conserve his tires better in the race and could lead to a strong finish.
Sunday, 8:15am 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 today 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
Sunday, 08:00am Central Time - Welcome to the fifth and final day of Speed51.com's Trackside Now coverage of the 41st Annual Snowball Derby. It is Derby day! Even though it feels like we just left the track (actually we did, considering we were here past midnight waiting for tech to clear), we all arrived here just before 8:00am to bring you all the action from the big dance.
Here is today's schedule:
8:00 AM Pits Open (Team Members Only)
9:00 AM Pits Open
9:30 AM Drivers Meeting
10:00 AM Worship Services
Snowball Cars to Pre-Race Tech
Impound on Pit Lane
12:00 Noon Engine Warm-Ups Cars Move to Grid
1:00 PM Pre-Race Festivities 2:00 PM 41st Annual Snowball Derby
TRACKSIDE NOW COVERAGE EARLIER THIS WEEK