“Weeder” Launches New Bonus Program for Snowball Derby

At the biggest race of the season, drivers want to make sure that they do everything right. From preparing their race cars, to the crew they bring down everyone, has to be on their A-game in order to have the best shot at the win at the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida. One of the biggest elements at the Snowball Derby is the game played with tires, and every driver wants to be ahead when it comes to tires. A name that goes hand in hand with the tire game is Wesley Weed who is better known around the track as “Weeder.” This year, Weed will take on Five Flags Speedway with a whole new deal as he has created a new incentive for those who use him to do their tires. For teams who use Weed the weekend of the Snowball Derby and Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100, there will [...]

Read more...

2017 Five Flags Full Races Added to Speed51 Network

With the 50th Annual Snowball Derby fast approaching, we decided to get all of our fans ready for the biggest pavement short track racing event of the year by making a big change to our Speed51 Network video library. We have now added every single event from Five Flags Speedway (FL) that aired live on Speed51 TV this year to our Speed51 Network video library. We know what you’re now asking. “What does that mean for me?” It means that all of those events are now available in their entirety to all premium (monthly or yearly) subscribers to Speed51.com. Premium subscribers can now watch any event from the 2017 season that aired live by subscribing to the Speed51 Network. If you want to watch the Southern Super Series drivers go for the win and get ready for the Snowball Derby, you can now do so. If you’re a fan of the Allen Turner [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: The Day Sanders Was Handcuffed at The Derby

Many people who know Ronnie Sanders don’t know about a hot-headed incident that resulted in the legendary driver and car owner being put in handcuffs in front of a capacity crowd during the 1975 Snowball Derby.  Well, it happened.  Here is the story about how it went down. Donnie Allison and Bobby Allison were the class of the field at Five Flags Speedway that year.  The two brothers led all 200 laps combined and the rest of the field was left racing for third as the Alabama Gang had them covered that day in Pensacola, FL. “Running seventh in the Derby was like winning to us,” Sanders said.  “It was inside 10 to go and Bobby Allison came up to lap me and he didn’t try to pass me; he just turned me. He stayed in the gas when he got into me.” The caution comes out and Sanders was upset about [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: Bryant Goes From Snowball Derby Driver to Promoter

“50 for 50” is a new series on Speed51.com that will tell the 50 best stories to have ever come out of the Snowball Derby. The stories will focus on the legendary tales of the event as we prepare for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby on December Anybody who has worked with the Bryant family around Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida knows about their character; hard working, blue collar people who get the job done. In the short track racing world, the most well-known family member is Tim Bryant.  Tim and his wife Pat own, operate and promote Five Flags Speedway and the prestigious Snowball Derby. Before Tim Bryant was a promoter, he was a racer himself.  As we prepare for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, we wanted to take a minute to tell you about Tim Bryant the driver. Bryant got his start in racing by getting behind the wheel [...]

Read more...

Limited Amount of Snowball Derby Reserved Tickets Remain

Time continues to tick away until the 50th running of the Snowball Derby on December 3 and while racing entries continue to come in, so are the calls for reserved tickets for what has become the most highly anticipated Derby in its history. Motorsports fans from all across the nation and beyond have been eagerly claiming their seats at Five Flags Speedway (FL) ever since they went on sale back in late August. The response has been awesome, as reserved ticket sales are well ahead of the first 49 Snowball Derby weekends. This means that if you’re planning on going to the Snowball Derby and want a reserved seat, the time to order is now. There are only a limited number of reserved seats remaining for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, but all the great deals remain. This year for the first time in its history, Snowball Derby weekend will expand to [...]

Read more...

Marketing and Advertising Opportunities Available for Snowball Derby

Each year the Snowball Derby cements itself as one of the biggest race weekends of the year. Once again, this December, fans from across the country and beyond will visit Five Flags Speedway to see who will be crowned the winner of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. For those reasons and more, the Snowball Derby and its surrounding events create an unbeatable opportunity for a company or organization to advertise their product or message. Companies can easily reach tens of thousands of fans in Pensacola, FL and its surrounding areas on race week, as well as the millions of potential customers reached through other marketing mediums, including social media. “The Snowball Derby receives such local, regional and national exposure that it makes the race such a great opportunity for companies to get involved and have their products reach the most eyes,” said Tim Bryant, General Manager of Five Flags Speedway. “While [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: Snowball Derby Broke & Made Rick Crawford

There is a reason why Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida has a concrete wall surrounding the 1/2-mile asphalt oval.  Rick Crawford proved that it was needed some 10 years before it went up. Without the wall, the first turn was like a catapult for race cars much like the Blue Angels jets located at the nearby naval base.  Several racers ended up in the parking lot, but that was minor compared to what Crawford experienced in a test session back in 1986. “We went to test a brand new All-Pro car,” Crawford began.  “So we go to Five Flags to shake it down and the throttle hung going into turn one and we got airborne.  I went off the top of the track and ended up facing the race track clear across Pine Forest Road.” For those who have never been to Five Flags, the thought of a car clearing the race [...]

Read more...

One Year After Highway Crash, Schoenfeld Returning to Snowball Derby

One year ago, veteran race car driver Dennis Schoenfeld was forced to miss his favorite race of the season due to a catastrophic injury.  Schoenfeld of Van Buren, AL was involved in a highway crash and suffered a broken tibia, taking away his chance to compete in the 49th annual Snowball Derby.  Nearly a year has passed since that accident and the 50-year-old racer is now looking forward to returning to Five Flags Speedway (FL) for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby on Sunday, December 3. Although it’s been nearly a year since the accident, Schoenfeld still struggles from time to time due to the injuries he suffered.  Everything seems to be pointing in the right direction as far as his health goes, but getting back into shape was an adjustment for him. Since the accident, working on the car hasn’t been as easy as it used to be as he experiences [...]

Read more...

CARS Tour Champ Headed to Pensacola for Third Shot at Snowball Glory

All season long Cole Rouse has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with when he shows up to the track with his Kyle Busch Motorsports team. Rouse was recently crowned champion for the 2017 CARS Super Late Model Tour, and had the dominant car at the Winchester 400 before a mechanical issue ended his race prematurely. With recent success to help boost his confidence, Cole Rouse rolls into the 50th Annual Snowball Derby intent on being one of the top contenders in the toughest and most historic short track race in the country This will be Rouse’s third trip to Pensacola, Florida to try his hand at the Snowball Derby but he was unable to qualify for the race in his previous trips. Rouse hopes that this year will be the year he proves he deserves a spot among the best short trackers who take the green flag [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: Matt Hawkins – A Snowball Derby Angel

This story is an account by long-time Speed51.com contributor Elgin Traylor.  At the Snowball Derby in 2008 Traylor was following the Matt Hawkins story and he recalls his tale with the Canton, Georgia driver.   It was hard for me to understand why the driver standing in front of me was upset.  He had just finished fourth in the 2008 Snowball Derby and it was a minor miracle that he even raced.  Just two-days before, the driver in question, Matt Hawkins, time-trialed in the show with a sick motor and was able to make the Snowball Derby after coming away 12th fastest. Hawkins stood at the end of his trailer where he pitted in the semi-circle of the infield at Five Flags Speedway. His team was getting ready to load the car up and the driver stood there, cool, calm and collected in his white t-shirt and black ball cap.  This [...]

Read more...

More Entries Received & Released for 50th Snowball Derby

Just two days after releasing the initial entry list for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, Five Flags Speedway officials announced Friday that a dozen more Late Model entries have been received for the historic event.  An additional five Super Late Model entries bring the current total to 55, while seven additional Pro Late Model entries bring that division up to 40 total entries. VIEW CURRENT ENTRY LISTS (As of 10/23/17) Among the notable names added to the current Super Late Model entry list for Sunday, December 3 is former Snowball Derby winner and Hayden, Alabama’s own Augie Grill.  He is joined by former Redbud 300 winner Dalton Armstrong, Southern Super Series winner Garrett Jones, ARCA/CRA Super Series winner Brandon Oakley and former All American 400 winner Boris Jurkovic. With the addition of Oakley (Dayton, Ohio) and Jurkovic (Manhattan, IL), 20 states and three Canadian provinces are now represented on the 50th Annual Snowball [...]

Read more...

Burton Hoping for His Greatest Memory at 50th Snowball Derby

Harrison Burton may only be 17 years old, but the driver from Huntersville, North Carolina already has a handful of Snowball Derby memories – both good and bad – etched into his mind. On Sunday, December 3, Burton will be making his way back to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida hoping for his greatest memory yet and a Tom Dawson Trophy at the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. Burton, the son of former NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, first arrived at the Snowball Derby four years ago as a 13-year-old driver not knowing what to expect. That year he only competed in the Snowflake 100, the Pro Late Model race on Saturday night, but he soon discovered the magnitude of asphalt short track racing’s biggest event. He felt the nervousness as he sat in his car waiting for his only shot at recording two fast laps in qualifying. He felt [...]

Read more...

50 For 50: ‘Chase’ for Snowball Derby Glory Began in 2009 for Elliott

In 2009, “The Chase” for Snowball Derby glory began for Chase Elliott. It was the year of his first Snowball Derby. Elliott arrived at Five Flags Speedway (FL) as a 14-year-old with braces who could barely see his name above the door on his No. 9 Aaron’s-sponsored Late Models.  Elliott finished seventh in that race, but has since gone on to make Snowball Derby history in more ways than one. Elliott has been able to lift the Tom Dawson Trophy above his head three different times, but he’s only taken home the Tom Dawson Trophy on two occasions. He could have had a third, and he also could have just one, depending on how you want to look at it. The first time he got to lift the Tom Dawson Trophy came in 2011 after a duel for the ages with DJ Vanderley that saw Elliott barely squeak out the victory. The [...]

Read more...

First Look at 50th Annual Snowball Derby Entry Lists

Entries for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby have been flying into the Five Flags Speedway (FL) office throughout the weeks and months leading up to the historic short track racing event.  On Wednesday afternoon, Five Flags officials released the first look at the entry lists for both Late Model divisions competing during the November 29 – December 3 race weekend. It only makes sense that for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby the first entry list would include the names of 50 Super Late Model drivers.  The current entry list for the 300-lap Super Late Model race on Sunday, December 3 includes drivers from 18 states and three Canadian provinces. 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, a former Snowball Derby winner, highlights an impressive list that includes short track racing stars from all four corners of the United States and Canada. The first look at the entry list features the [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: The Evolution of Snowball Derby Cars

Who better to tell us about the early years of the Snowball Derby than someone who lived it?  Wayne Niedecken Jr. watched his dad win the first Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida in 1968.  Two years later, it was his dad again going to victory lane as the first multi-time winner.  The second-generation driver knows the history all too well.   “A lot of people don’t know that my dad drove a Chevelle to victory lane in the first Derby,” Niedecken told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “Back in those days the Chevelle was just about the best race car you could have and they won several of the first Derby races.” The first four Derby races were won by the Chevy Chevelle.  The elder Niedecken won the ‘68 race with a ‘66 Chevelle and then won the ‘70 race with a ‘65 model.   “The cars were true [...]

Read more...

50th Snowball Derby Returns to Traditional Pit Stop Format

Fans attending the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL) will have plenty of action to keep an eye on, both on the track and on pit road on Sunday, December 3. After making the decision to go to a controlled cautions format one year ago as a result of the two-day postponement of the race due to weather, the traditional live pit stop format will return to the race in 2017 “We’re utilizing the same race format for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby for which the first 48 versions of the race were run under,” said Five Flags Speedway Promoter Tim Bryant. “The controlled pit stops format that was used in the 2016 race, somewhat out of necessity given the turn of events related to the weather, certainly has a place in today’s short track racing scene. That format is certainly worthy of consideration in the future. However, [...]

Read more...

Speed51.com Announced as Official News Site of 50th Annual Snowball Derby

Pensacola, FL -- The Snowball Derby is the pinnacle of pavement short track racing in America.  The crown jewel event attracts hundreds of race cars, thousands of attendees and even more fans following along through Speed51.com.  Five Flags Speedway announced Monday that Speed51.com powered by JEGS will be the "Official News Site of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby." While no amount of coverage will ever substitute for actually being a part of the Snowball Derby experience in Pensacola, Florida, 51 will bring fans closer to the action than ever before with several new interactive features, as well as their popular Trackside Now coverage. 2017 will mark the 16th consecutive year of Speed51.com serving as the official news site of the Snowball Derby. Speed51.com will be littered with content throughout the upcoming weeks in anticipation of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby on Sunday, December 3. Speed51.com has already rolled out a new series, known [...]

Read more...

“50 for 50” is a new series on Speed51.com that will tell the 50 best stories to have ever come out of the Snowball Derby. The stories will focus on the legendary tales of the event as we prepare for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby on December 3.  If you want an interesting tale of the Snowball Derby’s past, making a stop in the Richie Wauters pit at Five Flags Speedway in December would be a good place to start.  Wauters, a former NASCAR truck owner, found success at that level, but it’s the Snowball Derby that is his home away from home.  “There ain’t nothing like going short track and the Snowball Derby is the best of the best,” Wauters said. “When you win it, you are on top of the world.  When you don’t, all you can think about is next year.” When looking at the record books, Wauters has been [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: Hamilton Goes From Daytona to the Derby

“50 for 50” is a new series on Speed51.com that will tell the 50 best stories to have ever come out of the Snowball Derby. The stories will focus on the legendary tales of the event as we prepare for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby on December 3.  When the past winners take the stage this year during the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida there will be an open spot for one driver who didn’t get to see the race one more time.  Pete Hamilton was widely known for his Daytona success, but us short track junkies knew him for his Pensacola success. The Massachusetts driver passed away in March of this year just months before the golden anniversary of the Snowball Derby.   I got a chance to talk to Hamilton in 2012 and it was an amazing conversation about the way it was [...]

Read more...

50 for 50: The Original Snowball Derby Invader

Before Gary Balough, before Bobby Gill, before Rich Bickle there was The Beaumont Flyer, Freddie Fryar. He was was one of the original bad boy out-of-towners of the Snowball Derby. The heroes of Pensacola for the locals were the locals, and out-of-town drivers couldn’t cut it on the half-mile of Five Flags Speedway for many years. The likeable Beaumont, Texas driver who was originally from Tennessee took to the Pensacola oval like a duck in water. Success came early as he posted a runner-up finish in the 1971 race to Dickie Davis and was a part of the first Snowball Derby protest which was an alleged scoring error. “They wouldn’t accept my protest they said,” explained Fryar about 1971. “They had two guys up in the tower scoring and they would call out the numbers as they crossed the line. They made a mistake somewhere. I tried to plead with them that [...]

Read more...