Two races into the five-race Buddy’s Home Furnishing Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway, the story has been all about two of Five Flags’ most prolific winners in recent years, Augie Grill and Bubba Pollard. Pollard won the series opener in March, a victory that has sparked the popular Georgian’s run to a remarkable eight victories in the first half of the 2011 season. Not to be outdone, Grill won the last Blizzard race in late May, setting an all-time record in the process as he recorded his seventh victory in the series. With both races in mind and the fact that both drivers drive Grand American Race Car (GARC) chassis, a shop that has won the last nine straight Blizzard races, one would have to think Grill or Pollard would be considered the ones to beat this Friday.
However, while both drivers will be favorites, the biggest bulls-eye will be squarely on the back of 15-year-old Chase Elliott when the Blizzard Series returns to action on Friday, June 24th for the Print Now 100. After a very busy three week stretch on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he is a rookie, Elliott will return to a series and a track where he has already earned plenty of accolades. Elliott is the defending Blizzard Series champion, having won two of the five races last year in addition to two runner-up finishes. While he was unable to keep his SLM luck at the facility going after being crashed out late in the going of the Snowball Derby, he also tacked on a victory in the prestigious PLM Snowflake 100 to close out a successful 13-win campaign in 2010.
“This year, we’ve had our ups and downs in the K&N Series,” said Elliott. “The biggest thing is that we’ve had a lot of bad luck. I’m really looking forward to going back [to the Blizzard Series]. I hope with the experience we got last year that we’ll do really well Friday night.”
While winning the Blizzard Series race would be another great accomplishment for Elliott, it’s clear that the young 15-year-old feels as though he has unsettled business at the facility, using this Friday’s race to boost his efforts of winning the most coveted race of them all.
“I enjoy the Blizzard races. They’re a blast from a driver’s standpoint and I know from what I’ve been hearing this year there’s been some really great racing down there this year. I think the biggest thing though is to get ready for Snowball Derby; to go over there and get ready for the big race at the end of the season.”
Another thing going in Elliott’s favor is that he drives one of the GARC-chassis racecars, which have been hot at Five Flags in recent races. But, that’s not a guarantee for success with the tough competition in the Blizzard Series.
“Personally, I think whether you race a Hamke car or a Port City car, you can make it work. There’s a lot of good GARC cars, there’s also a lot of good Hamke cars, and there’s also a lot of good Port City cars.
“I know Bubba and I know Augie as well. I had a blast racing against them last year. They’re a couple of great guys to race with and they’re always running good. They’ll definitely be tough to beat.
“We’ve just got to go down there and give it our all.”
The Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series returns to action at Five Flags Speedway with the Print Now 100 on Friday, June 24th. 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.