HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! NEW SCHEDULE

As 2017 turns into a memory, we’d like to Thank everyone that has made “all things Five Flags Speedway” into what it is. The most supportive race fans a racetrack could possibly hope for, loyal competitors, who despite the ongoing challenges racers face each and every week , continue to support the sport they love, and a staff that genuinely wants both fans and competitors to have a good experience each time they enter our gates, all combines to make our Speedway something we’re proud of. We’ll continue to work towards bettering our overall product, and look forward to your input as always, as we slide in to 2018. Our racing schedule for ’18 is now complete, and we’re excited about the continuation of a few things, and even more excited about some new things that will be coming along. With the return of a more complete schedule at [...]

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Busch Executes Perfect Strategy to Win 50th Annual Snowball Derby for 2nd Career Title

By Chuck Corder Kyle Busch turned his glitter into gold. Busch, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series superstar, won the 50th annual Snowball Derby and hoisted the Tom Dawson trophy Sunday at Five Flags Speedway courtesy of a perfect game plan. After leading a handful of laps just before the midway point of the 300-lap Super Late Model, Busch timed his charge to the checkered flag when it mattered most. Running third with 22 laps remaining in the country's most prestigious short-track race, Busch passed Late Model legend Bubba Pollard for second before getting by then-leader Jeff Choquette on Lap 284. Busch pulled away, as Choquette and Pollard assumed the other podium finishes in second- and third-place finishes, respectively. "Everybody dreams of winning the Snowball Derby," said Busch, who has now twice won the Derby. “But, this one is definitely extra special. I’m pumped. This is so cool.” The eight-year span between Busch’s first and latest [...]

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Pollard, Choquette Deliver Clash for the Ages with Bubba Winning 2nd Career Snowflake 100

By Chuck Corder There have been 31 fewer Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100s than today’s 50th annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. While the country’s preeminent Pro Late Model race might not have the history of its big brother, it has had its moments. In 2010, a then-15-year-old Chase Elliott came from near the back of the pack to win the first of his three Snowflake 100s. Last December, Augie Grill was overcome with emotion in Victory Lane when he celebrated his third ’Flake. But, arguably, no prior ’Flake began with quite the bang that reverberated Saturday night around the famed half-mile asphalt oval. Bubba Pollard, he of the more than 100 career Late Model wins, and Jeff Choquette engaged in an epic battle of door-to-door racing and lead changes that brought a packed house roaring to its feet. Pollard finally pulled away from Choquette on Lap 45, easily handled the one caution down [...]

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VanderLey Erases Bad Derby Memories, Scores Pro Truck Victory in Wild 50 Lapper

By Chuck Corder With a full moon dancing across a pitch-black sky Saturday at Five Flags Speedway, the Pro Trucks running of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby certainly had a touch of the strange. There was a fight in the grandstands. A driver got out of his truck on the back stretch to give a rival a piece of his mind during a late caution before race officials escorted him off the raceway. And, speaking of yellows, there were 11 of them in the 50-lap race. Through it all, D.J. VanderLey maintained his resolve and made a triumphant run to not only racing, but the famed half-mile asphalt oval. VanderLey, originally from Mobile, purged ghosts from past Decembers and his emotions bubbled over in Victory Lane with his first career Derby win. “I’m worn out,” said VanderLey, who finished a close second to Chase Elliott in that memorable battle for the 2011 Snowball Derby [...]

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VanderLey Returns to Snowball Derby to Drive Pro Truck

VanderLey went wheel-to-wheel with Chase Elliott over the last five laps in one of the Snowball Derby’s most iconic moments. VanderLey led Elliott by inches every lap, until the final circuit. A slip in turn three on the last lap allowed Elliott to get to the flag first. VanderLey, who had won a handful of Pro Late Model races before that night, settled for second. He admittedly thinks about that night often. “I think about that race nearly every day,” VanderLey said with a chuckle. “It was the highest of highs and a highlight of my driving career, but it also sucks because we came so close. You always wonder ‘What if?’ Who knows what I could’ve become if I had beat him. That might be me in that No. 24 Cup car.” Nearly as quick as VanderLey’s stock rose, he was gone from the weekly short-track wars. He graduated high school, [...]

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50 for 50: Grill Went Back-to-Back, Still Wants More

For decades Augie Grill had seen the checkered flag from nearly every possible location…except one. Grill stood in the bed of his dad’s truck as a child. He sat on top of the pit box and called Wayne Anderson to the win in 2001. He even spotted a few races. Decades after his first trip to the Gulf Coast, Grill captured his first Snowball Derby win as a driver in 2007. He followed his initial triumph with another win in 2008, albeit following the disqualification of the initial winner. Grill’s two Tom Dawson trophies are some of his most-cherished racing memories, and he doesn’t care how the races were won. “I got both trophies and both checks cleared the bank, so it’s all good,” Grill said with a sly smile. “They both mean a lot to me, and I just hate it has been this long and we haven’t been able to get [...]

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Another Derby, Another Piece of History and Hardware as Grill Handily Wins Modifieds 75 Lapper

By Chuck Corder Even legends want their picture taken with Augie Grill. In the joyous aftermath of Grill’s dominant performance to capture the 75-lap Modifieds Snowball Derby on Friday night at Five Flags Speedway, “Alabama Gang” founding member Red Farmer waded through a sea of happy humanity on the front stretch to congratulate Grill. Then, as if he was meeting one of his heroes, the 85-year-old Farmer sidled up next to the 41-year-old Grill and the two posed for photos as digital cameras and smart phones snapped feverishly. Who could blame the NASCAR legend? When Grill puts on a show like the one he completed Friday at the famed half-mile asphalt oval, you want to preserve the memory. Grill couldn’t have asked for a better start to his weekend at the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. The Hayden, Alabama, driver had a great run during Derby qualifying and will start third in the golden edition [...]

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Three Legends Headed to Snowball Derby Last Chance Race

Three of the nation’s most accomplished veteran wheelmen will have to race their way in to the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. Five-time Snowball Derby winner Rich Bickle, former NASCAR Wheelen All-American national champion David Rogers and Northwest racing legend Garrett Evans were all not quick enough to make the field in Friday’s qualifying session and will start Saturday’s Last Chance Race. Bickle who has searched for speed all week long, said his car came to life somewhat during the morning practice sessions. However, he admitted not being at Five Flags for more than a decade played a role in his sub-par effort. “This car we have down here has been so awful,” Bickle said. “We stayed here until 1:30 in the morning, and today the car finally started to come to me. It has been so long since I’ve been here, we didn’t know what to do to it for qualifying. We [...]

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Peltier Wins Pole, Nasse Survives Dramatic Derby Qualifying Night

Friday at the Snowball Derby is called the most intense day of qualifying in short track racing, and it lived up to its billing this season at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Going down to the last car, Stephen Nasse sat on the bubble with defending race champion Christian Eckes taking the track. Nasse had every reason to believe he would be forced to settle for his Southern Super Series provisional starting spot. Instead, Eckes ran a 16.660-second lap time, matching the lap posted by Nasse and Donnie Wilson earlier in the session. By virtue of being the first of the three drivers to turn his qualifying lap, Nasse kept the 30th and final lock-in spot for Sunday’s 50th Annual Snowball Derby. “It was definitely nerve-wracking. I was gritting my teeth,” Nasse told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I could have sworn we were going to be out of it. Christian will normally lay [...]

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