Johnny Sauter to Make Snowball Derby Debut in December

One of the Midwest’s most accomplished racers will be making his way to Pensacola, Florida this December. 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter has filed an entry for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. Sauter will make his way to the historic short track racing event with his own team, a couple buddies and a trio of supporters – Smokey Mountain, Triple K Construction and Deppe Enterprises – that helped make his Snowball Derby debut possible. “Better late than never, right? I’ve got some people that want to help me out and go do it,” Sauter told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “That’s probably the biggest reason.  I have no idea what I’m in for.  I’m just going to go down there and have some fun.” The Snowball Derby will not be Sauter’s first Super Late Model race of the season, as he has competed in a [...]

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50 for 50: Ever-Changing Distance of the Snowball Derby

Over the years, we have seen some interesting things at the Snowball Derby.  Wild finishes, heavy attrition and drivers winning with crash damage and/or no hood.  At 300 laps, the Derby is one of the biggest tests of endurance in short track racing.  However, the race hasn’t always been the 300-lap distance it is today. In fact, it’s been ever-changing since the first Snowball Derby.    The first race in 1968 was only 100 laps.  The event returned in 1969 at the same distance and then track promoter Tom Dawson made the call to double the race to 200 laps for the 1970 event.   It was a move that would help put the race on the map and add to the excitement by forcing teams to pit for fuel and tires.  The plan worked to a certain degree.   In 1970, Wayne Niedecken outlasted the field on skinny tires to win the Snowball [...]

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Five Days of Racing for Just $75 at the Snowball Derby

For some people, it may come as a surprise that one of the most sought after tickets in short track racing is also one of the most affordable.  However, that is the case when it comes to the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, one of the most highly-anticipated asphalt racing events ever. With five days of racing, many would expect to at least blow through a $100 bill to get through the gates for all five days. However, that is not the case. A five-day reserved seat ticket for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby is only $75. That’s right, an average of $15 per day to watch one of the biggest events of the short track racing season. With each passing day, the anticipation for the 50th Snowball Derby continues to grow for both competitors and race fans. Every day more and more people make their plans to journey to Five Flags Speedway [...]

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50 for 50: Best Drivers Who Never Won the Snowball 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.    Many have tried but only a select few have succeeded at the Snowball Derby. Some of the biggest names in the racing world have failed to win the Tom Dawson Trophy and the list of those who haven’t won the race is almost as impressive as those who have.  Below are the 10 biggest names who, despite their best efforts, have never won the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL).    Red Farmer Starts: 32 Top Fives: 1 Top 10s: 4 Best Finish: 2nd (1987)   Farmer saw the green flag 32 times, but he never saw the checkered flag first in the Snowball Derby.  In 1968, he was leading [...]

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50 for 50: Turner Put Georgia Back on Snowball Derby Map

From the years 1985 to 1996, drivers from the State of Georgia won the Snowball Derby four times.  Over the next few years, it looked as if the Peach State was not going to be a factor in Derby races of the future.  Then came along Ricky Turner, an accomplished driver who had a date with destiny at the 2002 Snowball Derby. Turner could not find the speed to be one of the front-runners in practice at Five Flags Speedway (FL) that year.  He missed qualifying into the race through time trials but was given a provisional in the form of the 34th starting position. Early in the race, Turner got tangled up a few times while trying to work his way through the field and suffered crash damage. “We were kinda in over our heads compared to the other teams that we were pitting against,” Turner told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. [...]

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Snowball Derby Kickoff Party Begins Action-Packed Week

An annual tradition will return in a big way leading into the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Prior to the action-packed weekend at the race track, the Snowball Derby Kickoff Party will be held on Tuesday, November 28 at Beef O’Brady’s in downtown Pensacola, FL. The annual party gives racers, race teams and fans the chance to hang out, cut lose and have a good time before the high-intensity that comes with the Snowball Derby. Once again, Speed51.com will be live from Beef O’Brady’s starting at 6 p.m. C.T on Tuesday evening with a show that can be viewed worldwide. Fans will be able to tune in for free for a special on-location version of Short Track Center live from the hub of the Snowball Derby. Race fans tuning in will be able to watch exclusive interviews with drivers including Bubba Pollard, who is one of the fan [...]

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Speed51.com Brings Back Iced-Out Look for 50th Snowball Derby

Thermostats all across America are starting to show a drop in temperatures as the calendar flips ever closer to its last page of 2017. On Wednesday, holiday music started to grace the airwaves on many radio stations, and Speed51.com powered by JEGS turned “Ice Blue” to signify the true start of Snowball Derby season. Speed51.com is celebrating its 17th year as the official media partner of the Snowball Derby by changing the look of the website for the weeks leading up to the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. While the weather in Pensacola, Florida is always an unknown, the iced-out look will help fans get ready for the big race week of November 29 – December 3. “Everyone knows how big the Snowball Derby is and we have fans all across America and in Canada that look forward to us becoming iced-out in the weeks leading up to the prestigious race. This race [...]

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LaJoie Not Stopping Until He Wins Snowball Derby

Corey LaJoie is one of the few drivers that can genuinely say he “made it” as the Concord, NC native competes at NASCAR’s highest level on a regular basis. LaJoie cut his teeth through the ranks of short track racing before moving up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Even though he maintains a busy schedule on the circuit, once a year he makes an effort to climb back behind the wheel of a Super Late Model and compete at the most prestigious race in short track racing, the Snowball Derby. This will be LaJoie’s fourth trip to Pensacola, Florida and this season he is teaming up with Jamie Yelton and Fat Head Racing in hopes that this is the year that they can bring home the famous Tom Dawson trophy. “I sold my car about halfway through the summer and now that I have started going down to the [...]

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50 for 50: The History of Crew Chiefs at Snowball Derby

While researching information for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, we started to ask former race winners one question that resulted in some interesting stories.   Who was your crew chief? In the early days and even up into the 90’s, the answer to that questions was normally, “the driver.”  However, along the way, we discovered some interesting history about those who have won the race from the top of the pit box.   Let’s start with 1978 when Dave Mader III won the Tom Dawson trophy.  The man calling the shots in the pits that year was another Alabama native, Larry McReynolds.  Years later, McReynolds would work with Davey Allison and won another big race in Florida, the Daytona 500. Six years later, the current NASCAR television broadcaster won the Daytona 500 with the late Dale Earnhardt. As far as we can tell, McReynolds is the only crew chief to win both the [...]

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Miss Snowball Derby Entries Received From All Over the Map

With the 50th Annual Snowball Derby just over one month away, the 4th Annual Miss Snowball Derby Pageant is entering the final countdown as ladies from all across the country continue to throw their names into the mix. The field for this year’s Miss Snowball Derby is already an impressive one, with locals in the Pensacola, FL area well represented. However, the Miss Snowball Derby pageant isn’t just open to those locally; it’s open to women worldwide who would like to compete for the crown. Surrounding areas such as Southern Alabama and Tallahassee are also represented on the list of current entrants, and entries from as far away as North Carolina have also been received. The 2017 Miss Snowball Derby pageant is open to all ladies 18 years or older from anywhere in the land, so long as they attend the pageant on Thursday, November 16 and are present for the week [...]

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50 for 50: Spence Has Witnessed It All at Snowball 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.  Dan Spence has seen it all when it comes to the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.  The veteran race director has witnessed his fair share of those races from the flagstand, the tower and even the grandstands in Pensacola, FL. Throughout his years working with NASCAR, the All Pro Super Series and the old ASA National Tour, Spence made it a point to be at the Snowball Derby.  Nearly every December, he would find himself somewhere at Five Flags Speedway watching the prestigious race.  Although we can’t factually say that he’s never missed a Snowball Derby, we can say that he’s only missed [...]

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Lap Sponsorships Now Available for 50th Annual Snowball Derby

The biggest short track race in America is right around the corner and everything to prepare for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL) is in full swing. Lap Sponsorship for the 300-lap feature race is now available for purchase for $50 per lap. This is an opportunity for drivers to cash in an extra paycheck by taking home the extra chunk of change for each lap that they lead in the Snowball Derby on December 3, 2017. As much as $15,000 in lap money is available as the battle for the lead becomes that much more intense f“With the help of our friends at Speed51.com we’ll be making an all-out effort to sell every lap for the Snowball Derby,” said Tim Bryant, promoter of Five Flags Speedway and the Snowball Derby.  “Leading a race like the Derby is where you want to be anyway, but a [...]

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50 for 50: Frigid Temps, Fire and the First Snowball Derby

Elvis Presley was still on tour, Lyndon B Johnson was on his way out of the oval office, America was racing to the moon and Pensacola, Florida was about to become a vacation spot for stock car fans with the birth of the Snowball Derby. Tom Dawson was the owner and operator of Five Flags Speedway and they had big plans for a late season event that would stand the test of time.   It all came together in 1968 when Dawson promoted the first Snowball Derby which paid $1,000 to win.  The event would be held on Sunday, December 15th on a cold afternoon. “One thing I can remember was how cold it was,” said current Five Flags Speedway race director Dan Spence. “It seems like it was one of the coldest days I’ve ever sat in the grandstands.  The purse for the race was $5,000 and that was a big [...]

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Snowball Derby Preview Provides a Chance to Get Race Ready

With the 50th Snowball Derby drawing ever closer, race teams across all divisions are planning their plan of attack to take on the ever fast and tricky Five Flags Speedway (FL). As always, many teams are also planning to arrive in Pensacola, FL early to try and get a leg up, especially given the fast nature of the Derby week schedule. To help out, Five Flags Speedway will once again open its gates early to give teams the time they need with the Snowball Derby Preview on Saturday, November 18. This full open practice day will be available for all divisions competing over Derby week which runs from November 29 to December 3. This includes Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Florida Modifieds, Pro Trucks, Super Stocks, Sportsman and Pure Stocks. “We realize our schedule is tight during Snowball Derby week. This is an opportunity without the expense of a private [...]

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“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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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