The Snowball Derby draws the best and brightest Super Late Model teams from all across the land to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. This year, the Midwestern short track world will have a new representative in the race. ASA Midwest Tour standout Dan Fredrickson has put together a plan to enter the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby for the first time in his career.
His decision has been a popular one in the upper Midwest.
“We are so far away from the Derby up here in the Midwest that it is a really big deal to be able to go,” said Fredrickson. “We’ve already gained a lot of fans since we decided to go. People have been calling and offering help, it’s been great.”
With that attention comes plenty of pressure to perform, but Fredrickson is not worried about that challenge.
“The pressure is sort of there, but once we get to the track it won’t be on my mind,” said Frederickson. “You push it aside quickly when there is a job to do.”
Although this will be Fredrickson’s first Snowball Derby as a driver, he has been to the race before as a crew member for the hometown team of the Long family.
“I went down there and crewed for Donald and Johanna Long a few years ago and had a lot of fun,” said Fredrickson. “That family is as nice as they come. I’m looking forward to seeing them again. I have some other friends down there who will be racing as well – Scott Carlson and his family, the Hamners and the Davidsons from Texas.”
Fredrickson isn’t just looking forward to racing in the Snowball Derby, he’s looking forward to the entire week of activities that greet teams and fans during Derby week in Pensacola.
“I’m doing it all,” said Fredrickson. “I’m going to the Green Flag Party at the track on Wednesday night, the Thursday night kart races at Fast Eddie’s and everything else that we can find. I’m excited about the whole week.”
Fredrickson then compared the event to the biggest race in his part of the country, the annual Oktoberfest event at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway (WI).
“It’s all of the excitement of Oktoberfest, but rolled into just a few classes,” said Fredrickson. “It really is a big deal.”
Another big deal for Fredrickson will be to get the chance to race against some of the best Super Late Model drivers in the country at the Snowball Derby. From Augie Grill to Chase Elliott to Bubba Pollard to Josh Hamner to Johanna Long to Clay Rogers – there are some great competitors planning to race at the Derby this year.
“There’s always talk that you wouldn’t measure up if you raced down there or that they wouldn’t measure up if they raced up here, but I don’t buy that. I think if you are good here, you’re good there and if you’re good there, you’ll be good here. That race will have some good competitors in it. There are a good of good guys and one really good girl to go down there and race against.”
Fredrickson is getting to the Derby this year due to sponsorship from DirectPEX.com and Farm Boy BBQ. Race fans and fellow competitors alike have also shown their support of Frederickson’s Derby entry in many ways – including helping to support his Derby effort by using Facebook to buy a BBQ sauce and T-Shirt combination from Farm Boy BBQ.
“We wouldn’t be able to go to the Snowball Derby if it wasn’t for the outside help,” said Fredrickson. “I’m very thankful for all of the support that we have gotten – from sponsorship to how the Facebook thing has just been getting so big. We’ve been selling a lot of shirts and BBQ sauce. I really have to thank a lot of people for making this possible.”
The 43rd Annual Snowball Derby weekend kicks off on Wednesday, December 1st, with the Cat Country/WEAR TV3 Free Green Flag Party, where fans can meet their favorite drivers on the Five Flags asphalt. On-track action kicks off on Thursday, December 2nd, with practice for the Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100 cars, as well as features for the Five Flags Bomber and Sportsman divisions. Friday is qualifying day for the Snowball Derby cars, while the Pro Late Models will get more practice and the Super Stocks and Modified feature events.
The Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 will go green on Saturday, December 4th, along with last-chance qualifying races for the Snowball Derby. Then on Sunday, the green flag will wave for the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby.
For more information on the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby, contact Five Flags Speedway by calling (850) 944-8400 and be sure to visit www.snowballderby.com and www.fiveflagsspeedway.com.