JR Norris Snowball Derby preview

JR Norris Has More Than A "Snowball's Chance" at Derby Youngster Led Laps Last Year, Wants the Trophy This Year HUEYTOWN, AL (November 29, 2004) -- 2004 has been a successful one for JR Norris. Yet the youngster is not satisfied, at least not ...

JR Norris Has More Than A "Snowball's Chance" at Derby
Youngster Led Laps Last Year, Wants the Trophy This Year

HUEYTOWN, AL (November 29, 2004) -- 2004 has been a successful one for JR Norris. Yet the youngster is not satisfied, at least not yet.

Norris had a terrific rookie season in the NASCAR Southeast Series as the driver for the famed Richie Wauters-owned #5s. The season produced a runner-up position in the final standings, a victory at Kentucky Speedway and most importantly, Rookie of the Year honors. The 24-year-old has also been running his own equipment in a limited schedule of Pro Late Model and Super Late Model races in the "deep South." In just six starts, he has a worst finish of ninth and three top-three finishes.

Yet the season does not seem complete-- not until he can put a triumph in the 37th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL in his portfolio.

"I consider the Snowball Derby to be the biggest race of the year," said Norris. "When you go there, you are racing against guys from the ProCup Series, ASA and all other places. There are more cars and bigger names there than at any other race all year long."

For this weekend's prestigious race, Norris will again race his own equipment. And while Wauters' #5 ride will be occupied by Steve Wallace, son of Nextel Cup driver Rusty, Norris expects the two teams to help each other out tremendously.

"We are going to park next to each other in the pits and Richie has told me that any help that I need, he'll be right there to give it to me," said Norris.

One might think that since Norris' team has been somewhat idle this year, that they will face a lot of work to get ready for this race. According to Norris, that is not the case.

"We are just doing some of the normal stuff to the car for this race," said Norris. "You have to take the time after every race to keep up your equipment, so any extra time that you need to get ready only shows that you weren't doing things right during the regular season."

Norris was fast at the Snowball Derby in 2003, but had some bad luck before the race reached the final stages. He's learned a lot since then, but he still hopes to have a little bit better luck this time around.

"First of all, the biggest thing in this race is just to qualify," said Norris. "Everyone is so close and some good cars will go home. You say that you just want to make it in, but I really want to qualify in the top 10 or 15 cars. That is a good spot to be able to pace yourself and make it to the end.

"Last year, I raced too hard early on. I need to have more patience. I had older tires and was racing with a guy who had new tires and we tangled. I got hit and that ended our day. This year, I want to avoid that. I hope to start near the front and ride comfortably until the end of the race."

With the Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Southeast Series wrapped up, JR Norris is focused on winning the 37th Annual Snowball Derby.

-jrnorris.com

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Series Stock car
Drivers Steve Wallace