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Southern Super Series

Harvick, Elliott challenge the Southern Super Series stars at 5 Flags

Two Cup champions challenge the best of the Southeast

Daniel Vining

The road to the Snowball Derby and ASA Southern Super Series championship continues on Friday night at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola but will feature a little NASCAR flavor mixed into the recipe for good measure.

Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott are rolling into the Florida Gulf Coast and will mix it up with the greats of Southern Super Late Model racing in a roster that features Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse, Casey Roderick, Cole Butcher, Jeremy Doss, Matt Craig and Jake Finch.

The Southern Super Series is sanctioned by the ASA but is its own regional championship and the four race Blizzard Series that builds to the Derby is a championship within a championship. It’s important to note that both the ASA-SSS and Blizzard Series both offer a provisional starting spot into the biggest race of the year, important because over 50 cars enter every December but only 37 make the starting lineup.

Cup stars enter

The race is titled Busch Light Night at the Races, a reflection of Harvick making his Super Late Model debut at the track.

“I’ve actually never driven a straight rail Late Model before,” Harvick said. “I’m probably going to get my butt kicked but I’m doing this just for fun. It doesn’t matter if I finish first or if I finish last, I’m drinking beer. I’m going to go drive a race car, just to have fun, for the first time in a long time.”

For Elliott, a two-time Snowball Derby winner, he likes to race every chance he gets when friend, mentor and longtime collaborator Ricky Turner has an availability away from his driver development program. It helps that the Cup Series is at Nashville this weekend, making it an easy flight from Florida to Tennessee.

Bubba’s new cars

This weekend marks the debut of a new fleet of Bubba Pollard Senneker chassis and refreshed motors with the southern ace driving a handful of races either in a Tony Elrod Hamke or Ryan Paul’s Senneker, which is an old Pollard car.

“We need to be a little more consistent when we come to the race track, our processes,” Pollard said. “I’m looking forward to getting my cars back for Five Flags and towards the summer. We’re starting over with two new cars and two new engines and kind of re-doing things.”

Streaking Roderick seeking first win of 24

Casey Roderick and Anthony Campi Racing currently lead the ASA national championship standings and the Southern Super Series standings and are 13 points behind Stephen Nasse for the Blizzard championship.

And yet, they are still seeking their first win of the season in a Super Late Model.

They have podiums at Speedfest, New Smyrna in the ASA opener, at Five Flags in April, with the ASA at Hickory and in both Wisconsin ASA national tour races two weeks ago.

“There is no one more motivated than ACR,” Roderick said after Hickory and before another pair of podiums. “I don’t think anyone is working harder than these guys. That’s why it’s frustrating for me, because I know how hard they’re working. They deserve wins and I keep falling short.”

Streaking Casey Roderick seeking first win of 2024 at Pensacola

Grandstands open at 5 p.m. CT on Friday at Five Flags Speedway. Qualifying begins at 7 p.m., with racing starting at 8 p.m. Along with the Super Late Models, local division Pure Stocks, Crown Stocks and Sportsman are on the card.

The race will air live on Racing America.

Entry List

John Bolen
Jonathan Knee
Jackson Boone
Chase Elliott
Connor Okrzesik
Jacob Gomes
Billy VanMeter
Bubba Pollard
Casey Roderick
Cole Butcher
Dustin Smith
Michael Goddard
Jeremy Doss
Allen Karnes
Jett Noland
Stephen Nasse
Jake Finch
Matthew Craig
Michael Atwell
Kevin Harvick
Michael Hinde
Dylan Fetcho

The way the Snowball Derby provisional system works is that all drivers who fail to make the show on speed will be entered into the Last Chance Race. The first driver who missed the show on time highest in Southern Super Series points gets one provisional and then the first driver who missed the show on time highest in Blizzard Series points gets the other.

So these standings are important.

Blizzard Series standings (2/4)

Stephen Nasse
Casey Roderick -13
Jake Finch -16
Michael Hinde -16
Jacob Gomes -22
Matt Craig -32
Cole Butcher -34
Dawson Sutton -37
Billy VanMeter -44
Connor Okrzesik -48

Southern Super Series standings (7/12)

Casey Roderick
Cole Butcher -57
Matt Craig -63
Bubba Pollard
Stephen Nasse -95
Jett Noland -112
Michael Hinde -120
Billy VanMeter -153
Jake Finch -170
Dawson Sutton -182

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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