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NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver David Ragan Set to Return to 44th Annual Snowball Derby
Ragan to Drive His Own No. 6 Ford in Snowball Derby
By Chuck Corder/Five Flags Speedway
The nation’s most prestigious short-track race continues a rich tradition of attracting NASCAR’s elite this year.

Sprint Cup driver and current Coke Zero 400 winner David Ragan announced Tuesday he will be back for the 44th annual Snowball Derby’s festivities from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 at Five Flags Speedway.

Ragan will be making his second Snowball appearance at “America’s Favorite Home Track” when a deep group of Super Late Models gather at the famed half-mile, asphalt oval this winter.

A wreck relegated Ragan to a 27th-place finish out of 37 cars in 2010, as hometown girl Johanna Long hoisted the Tom Dawson Trophy.

“My first Snowball Derby didn’t go as expected. I’m giving it a second try,” said Ragan, the Unadilla, Ga., native. “We ran well in the race, but just got caught up in a wreck. There’s a lot of good cars and a lot of good competition in that race.”

Ragan extends a long list of NASCAR stars to test their racing chops against the country’s best late model drivers in Pensacola. In 2009, Kyle Busch was the latest Sprint Cup driver to take the Snowball checkered flag.

Ragan steered his No. 6 UPS Ford to Victory Lane for Roush Fenway Racing at the Coke Zero 400 in July at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve been a short-track racing fan since I was little and I’ve wanted to come race the Snowball for a lot of years,” said Ragan, a big supporter of Shriners International and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. “A lot of NASCAR guys stay up to date with what’s happening at Five Flags Speedway during the year.”

The Snowball Derby is a five-day event that features races in six classifications, all culminating when the Super Late Models battle it out for 300 laps Sunday. Five Flags Speedway was founded in 1953 and features racing nine months out of the year.

For more information on this year’s Snowball Derby, please call the track office at 850-944-8400 or visit 5flagsspeedway.com.

David Ragan (left, with his father and former racer Ken Ragan), will make his second attempt in the Snowball Derby.  (Speed51.com Photo)
Ragan, who drove for car owner Richie Wauters in the 2010 Snowball Derby, will enter his own No. 6 machine in this year's event.  (Speed51.com Photo)