There will be a changing of the guard in the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida in 2011.
A last-minute rule change in the NASCAR Touring Series has allowed 2010 Blizzard and Gulf Coast Series Champion Chase Elliott the opportunity to move along in his career sooner than expected and several of the dates for his new series conflict with Blizzard Series dates.
With Elliott not around to protect his ground, the door is open for a new Blizzard Series Champion in 2011. Two-time Snowball Derby winner Augie Grill is ready for the challenge that starts with the Pepsi MAX 100 on Friday, March 25th.
“It’s going to be a really great year,” said Grill. “Even without Chase coming back we’ll still have a lot of strong competition. The Blizzard Series always does. We’re working on some new stuff to be strong this year and I’m sure everyone else is too. Tim Bryant and everyone down there at Five Flags have been working hard like always and they’ll be ready for us this weekend.”
Elliott, who won the Blizzard Series, Miller Lite Series title at nearby Mobile International Speedway (AL) and the overall Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship in 2010, is excited about his new opportunities in NASCAR, but is also disappointed that he will not be able to defend his crown.
“Unfortunately, since we’re running the full schedule in the K&N East Series, we won’t be able to run the Blizzard Series at the same time,” said Elliott. “I hate it because that’s some great competition down there and I would love to go back and make another run at that title, and the Gulf Coast Championship with Mobile too, but, unfortunately, we won’t be able to this year.”
One of Elliott’s main rivals for the titles on the Gulf Coast last year, Grill has acquired a long list of accomplishments in his eight years of racing, including two Snowball Derby wins, a Snowflake 100 win and two Rattler 250 wins. One title that has eluded him, however, is a Blizzard Series championship.
“We’ve had a lot of success in Pensacola,” said Grill. “We’ve been to victory lane quite a few times there but we haven’t won the championship. We didn’t really run for championships a lot in the past but last year we decided we’d run all of the races there and at Mobile to try and get those championships and the Gulf Coast Championship, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. But we’ve been working hard and we’re ready to go for it again this year.”
The Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series kicks off 2011 at Five Flags Speedway with the Pepsi MAX 100 on Friday, March 25th. The Blizzard Series features five Super Late Model events at Five Flags and awards a season’s-end championship. The Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship combines points from the Blizzard Series and the five-race Miller Lite Series at Mobile International Raceway for an overall two-track title.
For more information about Five Flags Speedway and the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series, please visit www.5flagsspeedway.com or contact the track by calling (850) 944-8400.