38th Annual Snowball Derby Field to be Filled With Roush Racing: Driver X Contestants CONCORD, N.C. -- To read the names of previous Snowball Derby winners is like a roll-call for some of the greatest Late Model drivers in history. Rich Bickle,...
38th Annual Snowball Derby Field to be Filled With Roush Racing: Driver X Contestants
CONCORD, N.C. -- To read the names of previous Snowball Derby winners is like a roll-call for some of the greatest Late Model drivers in history. Rich Bickle, Gary St. Amant, Jeff Purvis, Rick Crawford, Darrell Waltrip, Ted Musgrave-- When the green flag flies over the field for the start of the 38th annual event, it will do so over a list of Roush Racing: Driver X competitors looking to etch their names into the list of champions, and pick up the $20,000 payout for winning the event.
The Snowball Derby is well known as one of the premier Late Model races held each year. To win this event can propel a driver's career into the fast lane. This year, four hopefuls will attempt to capitalize on the notoriety that goes along with picking up a win in the illustrious event and add to their newly found fame as television stars on Discovery Channel's Roush Racing: Driver X.
Driver X contestants Bubba Pollard of Senoia, GA, Chuck Barnes, Jr. of Louisville, KY, Jeff Choquette of Loxahatchee, FL, and Travis Kittleson of Merritt Island, Fla. will each attempt to qualify for the event held at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
For Bubba Pollard, it will be his first attempt at the Derby. Last year he ran the Allen Turner Snowflake 100, a warm-up event for the big show. After qualifying 13th, Pollard was able to race his way to the front of the pack, finishing second behind race winner David Hole. "I love this track," said Pollard. "This place puts a premium on the driver's skill behind the wheel. I'm really looking forward to running the Derby this year. I think the experience I gained last year will help me a ton this year."
Chuck Barnes, Jr. will also be making his first start in the event. Having never raced at Five Flags Speedway, Barnes admits he faces an uphill battle. However, having scored a big win in another of the major Late Model events just last year, Barnes is not a stranger to stepping up when prize and prestige are on the line. "I'm really looking forward to racing in the Snowball Derby," said Barnes Jr. "I've wanted to race in that event the past couple of years, but I just couldn't put together the resources to make it down there. I'm fortunate enough to have a win in the All American 300, I think it would be awesome to pull off a win in the Snowball Derby to go with that."
Travis Kittleson will make a second trip to his native Florida in just a few weeks time as he will load up his No. 88, head south and attempt to be one of the drivers battling it out for the win. Kittleson, who attempted to qualify for the Ford 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Homestead, has placed high expectations on himself to make a good showing. "My family and friends are going to come out to watch this race, it's this close to home and it's that big of a deal, they aren't going to miss this one," said Kittleson. "I think I put a little more pressure on myself at this race. You know what a win here does to help your career, and I'm really looking forward to adding this to my resume. It would be awesome to see my name on a list of champions alongside legends like Darrell Waltrip, I just can't even begin to express how bad I want to win this race!"
Jeff Choquette of Loxahatchee, Fla. brings one of the most impressive Late Model resumes to the Snowball Derby. Having raced up an amazing record for wins in races attempted, Choquette has got to be looked at as a favorite in this race. Having learned on the dirt tracks of Florida, Choquette was able to make the jump to asphalt and had immediate success. He would like nothing more than to keep the champion's trophy in the state of Florida. "Competing in this race is going to be awesome," he said. "I really hope that we'll be able to have a good showing. I expect to qualify well and run up front all night. I'd really be disappointed if I didn't accomplish that at the minimum, I want to win this thing just as bad as the next guy, but I think I've got a great shot, so I'm going to go for it."
Roush Racing: Driver X gives viewers an inside look into the driver selection and testing process known as the Gong Show. Roush Racing: Driver X airs on Discovery Channel, Monday nights at 8:00 pm, EST.