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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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, [...]

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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 [...]

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“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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Get Your Miss Snowball Derby Pageant Entries In Soon

Before a single race car makes its way onto the race track during the 50th Annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway, one lucky lady will become the first Snowball Derby winner of 2017.  On Thursday, November 16, the 4th Annual Miss Snowball Derby Pageant will be held at Seville Quarters in historic downtown Pensacola, Florida.  With just over two months remaining until the pageant, ladies interested in competing for the crown are encouraged to register as soon as possible by clicking here. This year’s pageant holds extra meaning as Five Flags Speedway celebrates the 50th anniversary of the most prestigious Super Late Model race in the country. Coincidentally, Seville Quarters – the location for this year’s pageant – is also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Ladies 18 years of age or older are eligible to compete in the 2017 Miss Snowball Derby contest and females worldwide are encouraged to compete. [...]

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50 for 50: The Original Snowball Derby First Lady

“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.  In 2014, Speed51.com ran into the original first lady of the Snowball Derby. Tammy Jo Kirk became a legend on a fateful day in December 1994 on the Florida Panhandle.  Many swear to this day she was a lap down at the end of the race, but Kirk didn’t really mention much about that when we talked to her a few years back.   No matter what story you believe, the fact is that Tammy Jo Kirk was the first female to win the Snowball Derby and they can’t take that away from her.    Everyone remembers the night Johanna Long won the Snowball [...]

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Speed51 Introduces New Snowball Derby “50 for 50” Series

The biggest Snowball Derby in the history of the event is just a few months away. The 50th Annual Snowball Derby will be run on December 3, and to get ready for that historic race at Five Flags Speedway (FL), Speed51.com powered by JEGS is rolling out a new feature called “50 for 50.” “50 for 50” will tell the 50 best stories to have ever come out of the legendary race. The stories will focus on the legendary tales of the event. The “50 for 50” features will include tales of Bobby Allison, Tammy Jo Kirk, Darrell Waltrip’s famous win, and even more. “The Snowball Derby is the biggest and most famous pavement short track race in the country. The stories that have come out of the Derby throughout the years are legendary and timeless,” explained Speed51.com’s Southeast Editor, Rob Blount. “I’m still relatively new to the Snowball Derby’s history, so [...]

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Snowball Derby Testing Dates Available at Five Flags

Race teams hoping to gain experience ahead of the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway will have a variety of ways to do exactly that prior to the race on Sunday, December 3 in Pensacola, Florida. In addition to the practice sessions scheduled during the race weekend and the Snowball Derby Preview on Saturday, November 18, test days are available for teams needing additional testing prior to the prestigious race. “We’re looking forward to the November 18 Snowball Derby Preview.  It’s a good day to see what the competition will yield for the weekend.  For teams who need testing prior to Snowball Derby weekend and can’t make that date, there are other days available for private testing,” said Snowball Derby Promoter Tim Bryant. “For teams that can’t make any of the potential test dates or the Snowball Derby Preview, if any of the dates don’t work for their schedule, we’d certainly [...]

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Kyle Busch Returning to Five Flags for 50th Snowball Derby

One of NASCAR’s biggest stars will be making his way back to Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway this December.  2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch has filed an official entry for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. The Las Vegas, Nevada driver will pilot the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota for 300 laps around the historic half-mile oval on Sunday, December 3, 2017. “The Snowball Derby is the biggest race in the Late Model industry and with this year being the 50th annual event I feel like it’s going to be extra special,” Busch said.  “Tim Bryant and all of his staff, as well as everyone at Speed 51, they always do such a great job promoting this event and the fans always turnout because the racing is exciting.” Busch has fielded entries as a car owner in recent years for drivers such as 2013 race winner Erik [...]

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Snowball Derby “King” Bickle Heading Back for 50th Running   

September 28, 2017 • App, Archives, Late Models, Region - Midwest, Region - Southeast, Top Stories Rich Bickle is the most decorated driver in the history of the Snowball Derby. Bickle leads all drivers with five career wins in the “granddaddy of all short track races,” but he hasn’t been back to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida since he finished second in 2002. Now, for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, the “Snowball Derby King” is headed back to Pensacola in search of his sixth Tom Dawson Trophy. During the 1990’s, no driver was more dominant at the historic Florida half-mile than Bickle. In addition to his five victories (1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999), Bickle had an average finish of 8.4. His lowest finish was 36th in 1992, but that was due to an engine failure. Even the first year Bickle went to Pensacola in 1989 he almost won the race. He [...]

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Exciting New Schedule Announced for 50th Snowball Derby

  September 12, 2017 • App, Archives, Late Models, Region - Southeast, Snowball Derby, Top Stories The 50th Annual Snowball Derby is just a few short months away. While the dates have been known for a long time, now race teams can officially start their planning. Five Flags Speedway officials have released the daily schedule for Snowball Derby week, and for the first time, there will be racing on Wednesday night in Pensacola, Florida.   In an effort to best accommodate the racers across each and every division competing at Five Flags during Snowball Derby week, Five Flags officials have decided to hold the 50-lap Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stock feature on Wednesday night, after the qualifying draw for the Snowball Derby and Allen Turner Snowflake 100. The move is being made in an effort to maximize the infield pit area as best as possible for all racers. “While we’re grateful for the growth that the Snowball Derby has enjoyed over the [...]

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Who will wear the 50th Anniversary Crown?

One of the traditions of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway is the Miss Snowball Derby Pageant that takes place each year leading up to the big race. This year, the pageant will be held on Thursday, November 16 at a brand-new venue of the Seville Quarter in historic downtown Pensacola, FL.   This year's pageant holds extra meaning as Five Flags Speedway celebrates the 50 th anniversary of the most prestigious Super Late Model race in the country. Coincidentally, Seville Quarter - the location for this year's pageant - is also celebrating their 50 th anniversary this year.    Ladies 18 years of age or older are eligible to compete in the 2017 Miss Snowball Derby contest and females worldwide are encouraged to compete. The pageant presents a great opportunity for young women to represent their hometown and express their love of racing at the biggest pavement short track race of [...]

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Sutton Conquers Rivals, Tames Five Flags in Rout; Johnson Claims $1K Pro Trucks Prize

<meta http-equiv='Refresh' content='0; URL="https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/error?code=ERR14&chm=true&ssm=true"'/>Oops! It appears that Javascript has been disabled in your browser, and this application’s great experience relies on Javascript to function properly. By Chuck Corder Everybody was left scratching their heads once the Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks feature came to a finish Friday night at Five Flags Speedway. One car absolutely steamrolled for 35 dominant laps while the rest of the field struggled with mechanical issues and avoiding the slew of cautions that plagued the race. Milton’s Gary Sutton lapped the entire 23-car field and the 2012 Super Stocks Snowball Derby champion won a feature race at the famed half-mile asphalt oval for the first time since 2015. “We took this ugly monstrosity of a car and wore them out!” Sutton proclaimed. “Everybody wants to talk about the car. If you wanna talk about the car, I’m gonna talk about the car. “We took this thing to house after last race and [...]

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Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks Class: Kevin Chase Keeps Passion for Racing All in Family

By Chuck Corder Five Flags Speedway never shies away from its past. In fact, unlike politicians and almost everything else, the famed half-mile asphalt oval embraces its history and wears it as a proud badge of courage. As Five Flags Speedway approaches the 50th anniversary of the Snowball Derby in December, the past is still ever-present around Pensacola’s high banks. “Shorty” Chase was one of the top drivers at Five Flags Speedway in the late 1960s. Today, son Kevin Chase carries on the family legacy as one of the top drivers in the new Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks division. “This class is a good fit for me,” said Kevin Chase, who at 46 is finding his niche this season. “I like to stay local, and a lot of the other classes travel and that’s just too much money for me. “This class puts everybody on an even setup. And it appeals to me that (track [...]

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Rubber & Specialties 100: Pollard ‘Proves’ He Still Has It, Wins Blizzard Opener; 2 Days Claim Checkereds

By Chuck Corder Short-track racing has made room for a collection of young drivers to take the spotlight in recent years. But, Bubba Pollard keeps scoring wins for the “old fogies” at Five Flags Speedway. Pollard, who officially became a 30-something last month, dominated the Rubber and Specialties 100 on Friday night at the famed half-mile asphalt oval. The Senoia, Ga., driver won by more than three full seconds in the third of 12 races on the Southern Super Series schedule this season. Pollard, already the all-time leader in Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series victories, added to that total with his 13th career win in the Super Late Model series. After seeing a few new names ascend to near the top of the sport, Pollard righted the ship in a big way Friday. “We’ve been struggling,” admitted Pollard, who was the fast qualifier (16.474 seconds), but started third on a redraw. “It’s been tough on [...]

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BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!

SEASON PASS WITH RESERVED PARKING Race Fans have spoken and we listened. An up front, personalized, reserved parking space with your regular season admission pass for just $195. As an additional bonus, your season pass will also include entrance into all six Drifting events and, the First Annual AMA Super Moto Series event on October 7th. Season Passes are set to go sale beginning Monday, February 20.

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