SNOWBALL DERBY COVERAGE
By Mike Twist
BRANDON CARLSON CELEBRATES ALLEN TURNER HYUNDAI SNOWFLAKE 100 WIN
Late Charge Puts Track Regular In Winner's Circle at Five Flags Speedway
Carlson survived a race filled with action and attrition and was right there out front when the checkered flag finally waved over the field. The victory was the biggest one so far of his young career.
"Its hard to even explain what this means," said Carlson. "Its incredible."
The victory didnt come easy. Even the winner had a night that was far from perfect.
"I just drove the heck out of the car," said Carlson. "The car actually didnt handle that well and I didnt get to pit when I wanted to because our radios were stuck, so I had to come in a lap late. Then we had trouble with the studs because one fell out. We even got one on there backwards, but I got back out and somehow missed the wrecks and got there at the end."
Carlson actually got there just five laps before the end. That was when he muscled by 2007 Snowflake 100 winner Ryan Crane to take the lead.
The local hard-charger, Brandon Carlson, came through at the end giving the Pensacola fans something to cheer about. (Jamie Williams Photo)
"We were just hard racing," said Carlson. We were going for a win, so it was going to be tight. I had a door on him and did what I needed to do."
"There was a little bit of contact, but that wasnt a big issue," said Crane. "That last caution just killed us. Our car took a few laps to getting going and that played into the finish. It was just disappointing to run second."
Brandon Carlson might not actually live within the walls of Pensacola, Floridas Five Flags Speedway, but the track is certainly a home to him. In the past, the young hometown driver has won at the track and lost at the track. Hes had bad times and good times there. He has grown up at the place and on Saturday night he sure came of age there as well, as he won the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 the biggest race of the Pro Late Model season at the track.
Father and Son share a special moment in Snowflake victory lane. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Crane could have had a lot more of a disappointing night, though. Several contenders in the race found themselves leaving the event early. Jason Young and Josh Hamner were battling for the lead on lap 23 when two lapped cars wrecked in front of them and took them out of the race. Augie Grill showed muscle, but was eliminated in a wreck. Pro Late Model champion Johanna Long also wrecked. Steven Davis and Logan Boyett appeared capable of winning, but they got into each other late in the race.
Although the Snowflake 100 attracted entries from all over the Eastern portion of the United States, Carlson won the race as a Five Flags regular. The victory also made up for a miscue that he had at the track earlier this season.
I messed up on double-points night and lost the Pro Late Model championship here this year, said Carlson. But this makes up for that.
Carlsons victory was a popular one with the fans, the biggest one of whom might have been his father Super Late Model regular Scott Carlson.
Im the proudest father in Pensacola right now, said Scott Carlson. Hes grown up around this racetrack and in racing. He has really come around and tonight showed it. We got hung up in the pits a little bit and started at the tail end with 50 laps to go. He drove his way right up to the front and it was a really good display of his skill as a driver.
Finishing behind Carlson and Crane were Casey Roderick, Paul Kelley and Keaton Hanks.
Stay tuned to the Five Flags Speedway site for more information on the 2009 Pro Late Model racing season and the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 event.
For more information on the 41st Annual Snowball Derby event, contact Matt Kentfield at (704) 788-2134 x 5 and visit www.fiveflagsspeedway.com and www.snowballderby.com