ASA Southern Super Series
Jeremy Doss Paces Practice for Friday Night at Five Flags
Sep 22, 2023
In recent years, racing at Five Flags Speedway has seen a stronger West Coast presence. Highlighted by Derek Thorn's win in last year's event after three years of dominant performances in the event, Colorado's Jace Hansen and California's Jacob Gomes also finished in the top 10 during the 2022 Snowball Derby. Entering Friday's American Welding Society 100, another Golden State driver, Jeremy Doss, leads the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series points.
Oregon's Kole Raz is joining the West Coast movement this weekend, competing in the Super Late Model doubleheader to close out the Blizzard Series season at Five Flags. The weekend is all about preparation for his own Snowball Derby bid coming for this year's event on December 3.
“We’re getting out here and getting ready for the Snowball Derby," Raz told Racing America. "We’re excited to make our first Derby run. A lot of effort has gone into this weekend. Man, it’s a long way from home, but I’m loving it out here. It’s a great time."
Raz has attended the Snowball Derby in the past as a fan, coming to the race in 2021. This year, he hopes to be on the other side of the catchfence for the biggest Super Late Model race of the year.
"I’m excited to feel the crowd for the first time as a driver. I came here two years ago for the Derby, and it was so surreal, so I’m excited to experience that."
I’m excited to feel the crowd for the first time as a driver. I came here two years ago for the Derby, and it was so surreal, so I’m excited to experience that.
Before making the trip east to the Pensacola, Florida half-mile, Raz watched plenty of video of races at the track to prepare for this weekend. He also talked with fellow drivers from the western United States, including former Snowball Derby winner Noah Gragson.
“It’s just such a line-sensitive track," said Raz. "I knew that coming in with the film I’ve been watching and talking to guys like Noah Gragson. He’s helped me out a lot. We’ve got good guys in my corner like Gary Crooks helping me, trying to shorten my learning curve around this place.
“Some other West Coasters like Jeremy Doss, I’ve talked a little bit with him and his dad. Jace Hansen’s here, so it’s cool to see some familiar faces. I’m just trying to stay in my own lane and do my own deal here. I’m just trying to focus on myself and talk with guys that I know very well like Noah, he’s been a huge help. Thank you for him, and Brandon McReynolds, he’s chimed in a little bit and helped me out."
Raz hopes to learn some valuable lessons on track Friday, in order to step up his performance for Saturday's 100-lapper and carry momentum into Derby week in December.
“It’s tough. There’s nothing like it around home. I’ve been enjoying it. We’ve just got to keep fine-tuning the race car, getting it to my liking around here. Today’s all about learning. Hopefully, tomorrow, we can set the bar a little higher for ourselves.”
Fans unable to attend Friday's racing program at Five Flags Speedway can watch live on Racing America.
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America