Saturday Racing at Snowball Derby Weekend Postponed
Dec 2, 2023
Jeb Burton and his No. 27 team agreed on changes to their car following Friday's Snowflake 100 practice session but will be unable to test the changes out due to persistent rain on Saturday. Now, Burton hopes the changes are enough to secure him his first start in the Snowflake 100.
There is a reason that the Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100 are as highly regarded in the Super Late Model and Pro Late Model world as the respective races are. No matter your experience level, no matter what form of motorsport you come from, 5 Flags Speedway can humble you like no other.
Two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series race winner Jeb Burton has experienced it first-hand this week. Burton, who impressed in a last-minute one-off Super Late Model race at North Wilkesboro Speedway earlier this season, has struggled mightily in practice for his first-career Snowflake 100 attempt.
Following Friday's practice, Burton huddled up his No. 27 Adventures In Racing team to devise a plan of attack to help find more speed in the car.
At the conclusion of the extensive pow-wow with his team, Burton came away feeling that they have a little bit more of an idea of what they need in the No. 27 machine as they hope to lock the car into the field for Monday's rain-delayed Snowflake 100.
“Man, these cars have no horsepower and this track invites you to drive the hell out of it," Burton said to Racing America. "I feel like we’ve made a lot of gains. We’ve been about 25th all week. I learned some stuff in last practice by kind of backing the corner up a little bit. I feel like we have a little bit better direction, now."
The downside for Burton is that he expressed that he felt that he needed a practice session following the changes in order to feel truly comfortable with the car heading into Snowflake 100 qualifying. After a total wash-out of on-track activity on Saturday, Burton will not get that opportunity.
Still, Burton feels that he's learned enough about how to drive the track that he only needs to find one tenth of a second in his fast lap to really find himself in a competitive position on Monday.
“Man, it’s tough because I’ve never been here," Burton admitted. "And then we didn’t test or anything. We only got one practice today, I wish we would have had one more. I feel like a tenth, and we’d be right where we need to be. That would probably put us about 15th. I think the car would probably race inside the top-12, but we don’t have that really fast lap. Still trying to figure it out. Glad to be here, and I feel like we’ll be right on the cutline to make the show."
While the ride for the Snowflake 100 developed rather quickly roughly a month ago, Burton says that his run at North Wilkesboro Speedway materialized from a call the day before the actual event. Despite being behind the eight-ball heading into qualifying on Monday, Burton feels confident that his group will hit on the changes they need to get into the field.
“We decided a couple of weeks ago that we were going to go do it — probably about a month or so ago, we just didn’t really announce it. And we didn’t test or anything. For North Wilkesboro, it was the day before. Never saw the car. So I was really happy with that seventh-place finish. This track, for us has been a little bit more difficult than North Wilkesboro was. I’m figuring it out. I feel like they’ll make me better, we’ll make the show, and have a good showing tomorrow.”
If Burton doesn't clock his way into the Snowflake 100 field on speed, he does have the Last Chance Qualifier Race to fall back on. Burton feels his car is stout in race trim. If he fails to turn the single-lap speed he needs, race trim could save him in the LCQ.
“I’ll know sitting in the car [on Monday] if it’s good or not," Burton stated. "What I just did right there would not be good enough. That was not a very good lap. I feel like I know what I need to do tomorrow. Pressure is a part of our sport, and it is what it is and go do the best we can. It’s all we can do.”
Regardless of how the weekend turns out, Burton is happy to be in Pensacola and is appreciative of the opportunity that he's been given to battle the best in the Pro Late Model world.
“Appreciate Bobby [Reuse] and everybody that invited me to come drive the car," Burton said. "We had a good showing at North Wilkesboro, and finished seventh there. Wanted to come down here and see what the Snowball Derby is all about. It’s been a pretty fun experience, just want to get our car a little better.”
Jeb Burton and the entire Pro Late Model field will battle it out in qualifying for Monday's rescheduled Snowflake 100 at 5 Flags Speedway on Monday, December 4th at 12:00 PM ET. Racing America will provide live PPV coverage of the on-track activity all weekend.
Racing America has created a new special two-day Rain Delay Bundle PPV pass due to the rain that affected coverage on Saturday. If you have yet to purchase a PPV pass for the Snowball Derby weekend, click here to buy the Sunday/Monday pass for just $59.99.
Photo Credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America