CONCORD, N.C. (December 2, 2013) – Snowball Derby defending pole-sitter David Ragan returns to the annual Super Late Model race in Pensacola, Fla., this year, looking to top last year’s effort with a trip to Victory Lane.
Ragan will bring the same No. 77 Skuttle Tight/A Fine Solutions Ford he ran last year at Five Flags Speedway, when he started from the front, led 31 laps, and later overcame a tire issue to finish eighth. He’ll have to battle more than 60 other drivers – a field that always includes the best of the best of short-track racers – to earn a spot on the 37-car starting grid for Sunday’s 300-lap race.
This weekend’s Derby will be Ragan’s fourth year running the prestigious late-model event at the half-mile paved oval, making him a relative newcomer to the long-time race.
“The Snowball Derby is kind of like short-track racing’s Daytona 500 and there’s a lot of tradition behind it,” Ragan said. “If you look through the history books, you’ll see a who’s who of drivers who have won or even who haven’t won, like Rusty Wallace, Ted Musgrave, Darrell Waltrip, Kyle Busch. And there have been a lot of local heroes that come out, put on a show and win. We hope we can add our name to that list of winners this weekend.”
Ragan will bring sponsorship from Skuttle Tight and A Fine Solutions as well as pit-crew help from his Front Row Motorsports Sprint Cup team. While some up-and-coming short-track racers might approach the 27-year-old NASCAR veteran for career advice during the weekend, Ragan says he looks to them for tips on the short track.
“There’s a lot of good kids and veterans running the short tracks, and I’m coming in to their territory,” Ragan said. “They know these tracks better than I do and race these cars more than I do, so I’ll ask them for advice at these events all the time.”
Qualifying for the Derby will take place Friday and will lock in the top 30 cars, with a “last chance” race running on Saturday. Sunday’s main event begins at 2 p.m. ET.