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Snowball Derby

How qualifying for the Snowball Derby works … plus weather considerations

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As has been the story all week, the weather very well could complicate qualifying for the Snowball Derby this year. It’s already complicated how teams treated practice day.

With that in mind, here are the qualifying procedures for the biggest Super Late Model race of the year.

Defending winner Derek Thorn, reigning Five Flags Speedway track champion Jeremy Doss and Southern Super Series champion Gio Ruggiero are all guaranteed to make the show. If Doss and/or Ruggiero make the field on time, each respective provisional will be passed down through the top-10 in points for each standings.

That gives the likes of Hunter Robbins, Jackson Boone, Matthew Craig, Stephen Nasse, Bubba Pollard, Travis Braden and Jake Finch a degree of protection for supporting track and series operator Tim Bryant throughout the season.

Only 30 drivers, of the 50 on the entry list, will lock into the main event from time trials, with everyone else who doesn’t have a provisional being forced into the last chance race.

Every year, it seems like a big name you would expect to make the field on time falls back on a provisional to avoid the last chance race. And speaking of the last chance race, everyone who doesn’t lock in on Friday must race it out over 50 laps on Saturday afternoon for the final four spots.

The same dynamic applies for the Snowflake 100 too.

So now let’s talk about the weather.

The forecast for Friday is starting to provide some optimism but during the drivers meeting, teams were given the following considerations:

  • The track will only start qualifying if they have conviction that they can get all 50 cars through to their two times laps
  • If weather nevertheless interrupts qualifying partway through, ‘they will have to discuss their options.
  • If qualifying is lost to weather on Friday, and Saturday continues to look like a complete washout, then Sunday would feature qualifying, last chance and the 300 lap Snowball Derby all on one day
  • If Saturday is washed out, the Snowflake 100 will race on the next clear day after the Snowball Derby until that is no longer viable and then the track will again discuss their options, likely to be two weeks from now to avoid the Performance Racing Industry trade show

What does the forecast look like?

There is a window developing during the day before the rain returns late on Friday and right now, forecasts call for a complete washout on Saturday.

Short Track Scene’s Snowball Derby Derby coverage is presented by Phoenix Water Solutions.

Phoenix Water Solutions joins Short Track Scene as Snowball Derby presenting partner

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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