Five Flags Speedway

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Five Flags Speedway


ThursdayStory courtesy Pensacola News Journal

The Snowball Derby on Sunday is not a sellout, but it's getting into the neighborhood.

"I think it is a little ahead of schedule," said Tim Bryant, general manager of Five Flags, during Wednesday night's Green Flag Party. "We haven't even started the program yet with the racing starting (today). We have general admission seats, and we will try to get everybody in here that wants to see the race."

General admission seating is $40. Reserve seating, if available is $45. Tickets can only be purchased at the main gate ticket booth.

Plenty of free parking is available at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds 2 miles south of the track.  A free shuttle will get you to the track and back.

A large crowd attended Wednesday night's party, which included the draw order for Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100 qualifying. Bob Dillner, the owner, was the event emcee. He will be the lead play-by-play announcer in Sunday's first-ever, live video broadcast of the Snowball Derby.

"This kind of atmosphere is great. ... there's so much electricity," Bryant said. "It's a big thing for short track racing."

Qualifying order

There were 63 drivers with qualifying order drawn for the Snowball Derby, another 74 for Saturday's Allen Turner Snowflake 100. Two-time champion Erik Jones, who is attempting to become the first driver in the 47-year history to win the Snowball Derby, was at Wednesday's qualifying draw.

Co-favorite Chase Elliott, who won last year's race before his car failed post-race inspection, is expected to arrive Thursday for practice.

He had someone else draw his name.

There will be 46 first-time entrants trying to make the field of 36 cars for the Snowflake 100.

Hometown favorite

Johanna Long plans to race in both events. The 2010 Snowball Derby champion and Pensacola native will be driving for Scott Carlson's team.

"I feel like every year I come out here and it is the best of the best of the competition and it just gets better and bigger every year," she said. "I know we were extremely fast in practice.

"I know the track was really fast at that time, because it was colder. Hopefully it will be just as good (Friday)."

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