Snowball Derby Starting Spots On the Line Friday in Blizzard Series Season Finale
Pollard to Be Crowned Champion Friday, but Plenty of Drama to Play Out Over 100 Laps
(By Speed 51)
– In 2009, Bubba Pollard has his eyes on the prize. He was one race away from his first Buddy’s Home Furnishing Blizzard Series title. Needing only a solid finish in the final race, it all came to an end with a horrific lap-one crash. Pollard went airborne over the side of another car, taking him out of the title hunt.
2012 is the revenge year as Pollard enters the final Blizzard Series race at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway, the Buddy’s 100, needing only to take the green flag to win the championship. The win also guarantees Pollard a starting spot into the 45th Annual Snowball Derby this December at Five Flags.
“I feel like we have had better years in the past down at Five Flags,” said Pollard who has one Blizzard Series victory this season. “It’s not quite the year we wanted, but it looks like we are going to get out first Championship. It’s good to know if we have trouble in December that we have a spot to fall back on, but we want to be fast again and start up front.”
While Pollard has the first automatic provisional spot locked up, the other is up for grabs with Augie Grill, Kyle Benjamin, and Mike Garvey with the key contenders for the second spot in points.
The top two in Blizzard points will be locked into the Snowball Derby. If those drivers lock themselves into the Snowball Derby field during qualifying for that event, then the provisional will shift to the next highest driver in points all the way back to 10th. TJ Reaid is currently 10th in points, just two markers ahead of Donnie Wilson and three above Jeremy Pate.
“We are going to approach this race no different than any other race down there,” said Reaid. “We are going to win and try to learn as much as we can before the Snowball Derby. You want to go to the Derby and unload on a positive note. Practice day is not a time to chase the race car, you want to be fast off the truck.
Reaid drives for Bill Elliott Racing, a team that has produced victories at Five Flags in the Snowflake 100 and the last year in the Snowball Derby with Chase Elliott.
Donnie Wilson finished second in the Snowball Derby in 2010 to Johanna Long, but this year the Oklahoma City driver has been just a tick off at Five Flags Speedway. He knows there is a lot riding on this weekend.
“Heck yeah we worry about that, I mean I do,” said Wilson. “We went and tested last week as we have not run well all year and we have not qualified that good ether. The points can really hurt you when it comes to qualifying. We just need a good run and we can be line for that garneted spot.”
Other names looking to mix things up will be David Rogers, Becca Kasten, Logan Boyett, Jeff Fultz, Stephen Nasse, Clay Alexander and several other Super Late Model standouts. Five Flags Speedway is expecting 30-plus Super Late Models to battle for the season finale.
Action starts on Friday, September 21st at Five Flags Speedway with practice from 4pm to 5:30pm Central Time. Blizzard qualifying will be at 7pm and racing starts at 8pm with local features.
Fans unable to attend the Five Flags Blizzard Series’ event can hear it live on Speed 51 Radio as FFS track announcers Robbie Harvey, Dave Pavlock and Bill Roth call all the action only on Speed51.com. 51 will also have live Trackside Now coverage of the Blizzard Series event all day Friday.
The five Blizzard Series’ and five Miller Lite Series’ events at Mobile International Speedway will make up the Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship series, where drivers competing at both tracks are eligible for overall Championship.