Some of the toughest challenges in auto racing can come in the technical inspection shed, and at no place is that more true than Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. But on Saturday night, Chase Elliott and the Aaron’s Dream Team prevailed on the track and in inspection to win the Snowflake 100, a companion event to the prestigious Snowball Derby.
Elliott’s Ford passed pre-race inspection, but after scraping the track through turn two on his qualifying lap, his front valance didn’t meet specifications, so he had to run a last-chance race to make the starting field for the 100-lap Snowflake.
No problem there though, as Elliott won the prelim to start 31st in the feature.
He proceeded to motor through the field and with 15 laps to go; he took the lead for good. And after a careful post-race inspection by track official Ricky Brooks, Elliott was confirmed the winner of the Alan Turner Snowflake 100.
“What a day!” Elliot said. “We never gave up and it just shows how hard these guys work”.
“The last chance race really helped us, in a way, to get our Aaron’s Ford dialed in for the main event.”
Elliott’s Ford indeed was dialed in as he averaged passing a car a lap in the early going and broke into the top ten just at the halfway point.
As he approached the faster cars, his forward progress was slowed, but not by much. By lap 68 Elliott was in the top five and quickly dispatched top-five contenders including Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, Mike Garvey, Bubba Pollard and Augie Grill to take the checkers.
“I am here to do my best to win,” said Elliott, who has now posted 13 wins this season including a victory in the Winchester 400 as well as at tracks like North Wilkesboro and Rockingham Speedway. “If I didn’t want to win I might as well not come.”