Chris Davidson Snowball Derby preview

Davidson Throwing Caution To The Win Hoping For Derby Victory His Turner Motorsports Team is Approaching Snowball Derby with Their Best Stuff PEARLAND, TX (November 23, 2004) -- His regular racing season is over, but Chris Davidson and his...

Davidson Throwing Caution To The Win Hoping For Derby Victory
His Turner Motorsports Team is Approaching Snowball Derby with Their Best Stuff

PEARLAND, TX (November 23, 2004) -- His regular racing season is over, but Chris Davidson and his Turner Motorsports team aren't ready to pack it in for the winter yet. Like many other teams across the country, they are planning to run the 37th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL) on December 5. Unlike many of the guys that he will be racing against, Davidson and his team are approaching the race much like the start of a whole new season.

The Turner Motorsports team is bringing a brand new car and a brand new engine to the event. Nothing is just rebuilt or merely freshened up; all of Davidson's equipment for the race will be straight out of the box.

"Everything will be brand new for this race except for the driver," said Davidson, who wrapped up his season at a NASCAR Southeast Series rookie contender just two weeks ago in Irwindale, CA. "We have a brand new Frankie Grill chassis that had been sitting in the shop for a few months. After we got back from Irwindale (for the Toyota All Star Showdown), we pulled the car out and started working on it.

"Anytime that you buy a new car, there are still 100 things on it that you want to do to it and we've been working hard to get that all done. It's almost finished now and we'll be dyno'ing our engine today. If we finish it in time, we'll be going out to Florida this weekend to test it, but I have a feeling that we might still be at the shop in Houston instead and the car will see the track for the first time when practice begins."

The Snowball Derby is a race where a team needs to bring their best equipment. The best short rack drivers from all over the country are expected to attend. In fact, the NASCAR Southeast Series, Midwest Series, ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, Southern All Star Series, Sunoco Super Series, Florida Pro, PASS Series and even the NASCAR Modified Series are likely to be represented with their best competitors.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is the most prestigious short track race in the country, except for maybe the (invitation-only) NASCAR All Star Showdown in Irwindale," said Davidson. "The best of the best come to the Snowball Derby and a lot of good cars go back on the trailer after qualifying. Getting in the race is hard; running up front is even harder. This year, there looks to be a really good car count, so it will be even more of a big race."

Davidson knows a thing or two about competing in the event. He has had some good runs in the race, but a great finish has eluded him so far.

"We tend to run good there," Davidson said. "A couple of years ago, when Ricky Turner won the race (2002), we were fast but we made the mistake of not pitting for tires near the end. That hurt us and we were the only team at the end of the night with new tires still sitting on the pit wall. We learned from that one."

Davidson finished fourth in that race.

"In another race, we lost three laps after getting a flat tire and made all three laps up before having another flat. We've been plagued with tire problems in this race. Sometimes they've gone flat, sometimes we've ran over something. This year, we hope to get that out of the way and have a finish that reflects on how we run."

Just surviving the 300 laps of racing at the Snowball Derby is an art.

"This is a different type of racing," said Davidson. "There is a lot less giving and a lot more taking on the track. There will be plenty of beating and banging. It's 300 laps, but guys will race like it's a 50-lap feature. It feels a lot like a normal Saturday night race, only bigger and longer."

"I haven't qualified very well there before," said Davidson. "That's OK. The last three race winners have all started near the back. It's a long race with a lot of attrition. Anything can happen."

The 37th Annual Snowball Derby is scheduled to run from Thursday, December 2 through Sunday, December 5. The 300-lap race takes place on Sunday at the half-mile Five Flags Speedway.

-chrisdavidson.net.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Teams Turner Motorsport