Five Flags Speedway

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Five Flags Speedway

Ruble, Gorham Etch Names into Derby Lore, Score First Career Titles When Opportunity Knocked

By Chuck Corder

Korey Ruble proved on Day 2 of the 49th Annual Snowball Derby what many short-track drivers across the southeast already knew.

He’s as good a wheelman as there is.

coryThe 31 year old from Headland, AL, bided his time for most of the 50-lap Modifieds Snowball Derby before turning on the afterburners late to capture his first career Derby crown.

“We had a pretty good car the whole race,� Ruble said. “I kept saving tires, saving tires because I knew a caution would come out. We had a little extra there at the end. Everybody on this team came through tonight.�

Ruble, who started seventh in the 34-car field, finished second last year and was determined to not let anything or anyone stand in his way of a championship Friday night.

With 36 laps complete, the field was forced to restart after the third caution of the night came out. When then-leader Joe Aramendia spun his tires as the field came to the green, it opened the door for Jeff Choquette and Ruble running second and third, respectively.

While Choquette initially took the lead from Aramendia, Ruble was shot out of a cannon and refused to wilt away. He snatched the lead from Choquette by blowing by him on the outside going into Turn No. 4 on Lap 37, avenging last year’s near miss at the Modifieds Derby.

“It always means a lot to me to win, but, c’mon, this is the Derby,� said an overjoyed Ruble, whose career has been highlighted by high-profile late model wins at short-tracks across Alabama and started on the pole for the Snowflake 100 in 2006.

Aramendia, who won the Modifieds season finale earlier this year at Five Flags, passed Choquette late to claim runner-up honors. Choquette, who will also compete in both the Snowflake 100 for Pro Late Models and Sunday’s Derby for Super Late Models, took home third.

“We just needed more time with it,� Choquette said. “We’ve, obviously, been focusing on the Snowball and Snowflake, so this was just an excuse to have fun. I’m glad to come out of here and keep it all in one piece.�


Faith Chapel Super Stocks

Central Florida invaded Five Flags Speedway on Friday, and had little trouble flexing their muscles on the Upside of Florida.

A slew of Faith Chapel Super Stocks drivers from around the Orlando area were a part of a deep 25-car field at Pensacola’s high banks or the Super Stocks Snowball Derby.

Winter Haven driver George Gorham Jr. led most of the race, but needed a late-race miscue by Panama City’s Corbitt Moseley to reclaim the lead with just two laps left in the 50 lapper.

Gorham took advantage and never looked back to win his first career Super Stocks Derby title.

gotham“Wooo! This is awesome,� a thrilled Gorham said. “This is easily the biggest win of my career. I came here with my wife, kid and two other guys. And it has been all hands on deck to get it done tonight.�

Bruce Bennett Jr. of Belle Isle finished as the runner-up and Mosley rounded out the podium.

From the drop of the opening green flag, Gorham showed a desire to get to the front from his starting spot in fourth.

He was second after a few laps and hot in pursuit of polesitter Jason Vail from Clermont. Gorham finally took the lead on Lap 16 and was in firm control until the night’s first caution flew with 27 laps complete.

Moseley, who began the race in sixth, climbed up to second with 16 laps remaining and began to stalk Gorham for the lead in the subsequent laps.

Following a poor restart by Gorham, Moseley assumed the lead on Lap 35. But on Lap 45, Moseley spun by his lonesome coming down the front stretch and slammed into the inside wall.

It breathed new life into Gorham, who drove back into clean air and never looked back down the stretch.

“We were a little loose on the tail end, but hats off to (Gorham),� Moseley said. “He ran a heckuva race.�

-Photos by Speed 51

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