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30th Annual Snowball Derby: Super Late Model Qualifying Report and Starting Grid

8 December 1997

Pensacola, FL - Today is 'Late Model Day' at the 30th Annual Burger King
Snowball Derby. With two qualifying sessions, two races and practice for
over 100 Late Models the day was a busy one. The action on the track got
underway early with practice and it was Gary Sullivan of Baton Rouge, LA
who lost it in turn four and backed into the outside wall. Rebounding
across the track, he collected the sliding car of Mark Gerke who was trying
hard to get stopped. Sullivan's car was not repairable, but fortunately he
had brought a backup and was soon back on the track. Gerke was able to make
repairs and he too returned to action.

Mike Harmon, who had spun coming off turn four in qualifying the
previous night, again spun in turn 4 and this time he hit the outside wall
hard. Severe damage to the left front and left rear of the car had the crew
working hard to get it ready to race tomorrow. Harmon will benefit from one
of four provisionals and will start the race from the 19th row of the grid.

"It seemed like something broke in the rear end," said the
Birmingport, AL driver afterwards. "We are replacing the rear axle and the
left front suspension so that we can race."

Following practice the first order of business was qualifying for
the Pete Moore Late Model 100. This race features the 'Saturday Night'
style of Late Models that race at local tracks on a weekly basis. Tony
Walls of Albertville, AL was the quickest in time trials and started the
108 lap race from the pole. This is the 8th Annual Pete Moore 100, and like
its big sister, The Snowball, one lap is added each year. 

Next it was time for second round qualifying for the Snowball Derby
competitors and NASCAR All Pro driver Stephen Christian of Sugar Hill, GA
was the fastest of the 35 cars that made qualifying attempts. The fastest
twelve cars made the field for the Derby. Showing just how hard it is to
make this quality field, Gary St Amant, a previous Snowball Winner failed
to make it through on time and will be forced to run the Last Chance race.
Others who failed to make the field included Wayne Niedeken Jr, son of the
man who won the very first Snowball in 1968, 1996 and 1997 Southern All
Stars Series Champion Johnny Brazier, and ARCA and Southern All Stars
competitor John Wilkinson III.

Following the running of the Pete Moore 100 there was a 100 lap
'Last Chance" race for the Snowball cars, from which the first four
transferred to the 30th Annual Snowball Derby. Ronnie Couture of Pensacola,
FL won the race and took the 33rd starting spot on the Derby grid. Also
gaining transfers to the Snowball were John Wilkinson III, Wayne Niedeken
Jr, and Mike Arnold. Mike Harmon, Gary St. Amant, Johnny Brazier and Lloyd
Ritchie of Southampton, Ontario gained the four provisional starting spots
to make up the 40 car Snowball Derby starting field.

Tomorrow 30th Annual Burger King Snowball Derby will take the green
flag at 1:00 PM (CST). Prerace activities get underway at 11:00 AM.

John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel

Five Flags Speedway - Qualifying results for the 
30th Annual Burger King Snowball Derby, 
Super Late Models:
Ps.No.  Driver , Car                                         
-- ---- -----------------------------------------------------              

Row  1 
 1  72  Eddie Mercer    Eddie Mercer Auto/Fast Eddies    Chev  
 2  54  Scott Carlson   Advance Construction/Willie Rest Chev              
Row  2 
 3  45  Rich Bickle     Terminal Trucking                Chev  
 4   5  Bobby Gill      Terminal Trucking                Chev              
Row  3 
 5   8  Freddie Query   W.J. Plemons Ins/Hamner Engines  Chev  
 6   3  Tim Sauter      Build-A-Mold/Trimplas            Chev              
Row  4 
 7  52  Scott Hansen    AFCO/Victor Ford                 Ford 
 8  42  Brian Ross      Ultra Tech/Royal Purple/Wade ConsChev              
Row  5 
 9  14  Rick Crawford   Hogan Lumber/Circle bar Motel    Chev  
10  53  Robert Burroughs Burroughs Motorsports           Chev              
Row  6 
11  96  Greg Davidson   W Side Performance/Davinci Carbs Chev  
12   1  Tracy Goodson   Lifestyle Vinyl/Southern LightninChev              
Row  7 
13 F97  Red Farmer      K.C. Racing/Long Lewis Ford      Chev  
14  44  Derrick Gilchrist Drinkard Litho/Emerald Coast   Chev              
Row  8 
15  84  Dave Mader III  Hamner Engines/BRJ Racecars      Chev  
16  11  David Rogers    TM Ranch/RC Dunn                 Chev              
Row  9 
17 111  Donald Long     Group III Asphalt/Sam's Seafood  Chev  
18   1Y Keith Cahela    Y-Mart/Big Ed's/Boaz Tax Serv    Chev              
Row  10 
19  25  Scott Wimmer    Lee Ceramic Tile/Kipley Perf     Chev  
20  58  Darrell Brown   Gr.American Race Car/Veterans OilChev              
Row  11 
21   0  Steven Christian Bell South/Clements Engines     Chev  
22  51  Jeff Purvis     Victor Ford/Phoenix Construction Ford              
Row  12 
23  40  Mike Garvey     Coors Light/AFCO                 Chev  
24  83  Joey Clanton    Southern Linc/Racing Radios      Chev              
Row  13 
25  77  Tom Hernly      Sawyers Pontiac/Miller Racing    Chev  
26  71  Harold Fair Jr  Left Hander/VP Fuel/Lane Auto    Chev              
Row  14 
27  98  Jody Ridley     El Puente/Pro Line Door          Ford  
28  24e Keith English   Eagle Tire Serv/Matthews Roofing Chev              
Row  15 
29  61  Matt Hagens     Eagle Creek Aviation/Port City   Chev  
30  81  Tony Walls      Chandeleur Homes/Walls Accessory Chev              
Row  16 
31 181  Tim Bryant      Harrington Elec/P'Cola Auto BrokrChev  
32  65  Andy Kirby      Bob Williams Auto/S&H Chrome     Chev              
Row  17 
33 152  Ronnie Couture  Pensacola Tractor/Hicks Ent.     Chev  
34  59  John Wilkinson III Quality Lube/City Auto/Hamner Chev              
Row  18 
35  99  Wayne Niedeken Jr Norwood marine/Everwood        Chev  
36  60  Mike Arnold     Strickland Tire/AMC Trailers     Chev              
Row  19 
37   7  Gary St Amant   Wynns/Birk Transfer              Chev  Provsnl
38  24  Mike Harmon     Lonesome PineTimber/S&N Products Pont  Provsnl     
Row  20 
39 711  Johnny Brazier  Frogg Toggs/Moody Monday's       Ford  Provsnl  
40  62  Lloyd Ritchie   Orange Blossom Special           Chev  Provsnl     
Track Length      :  0.5000 Miles

John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel