The 52nd Annual Snowball Derby, which is hosted by Five Flags Speedway, will go with a controlled caution format in an effort to save teams money, according to a report by Speed51.com.
That means drivers pitting will not lose positions to other cars that pit during the same caution. It also means that no car may lose a lap while pitting under caution. The result is that there isn’t as great of a need to hire a specialized pit crew for the Super Late Model showcase event.
Tim Bryant, promoter of the Snowball Derby and Five Flags Speedway, told Speed51.com that the move was made to save teams money.
“We know that the Snowball Derby is a costly event for the teams to participate in,” Bryant told Speed51.com. We are in constant search of ways to make it less expensive for competitors. … The importance of length of time on pit road has gone to the extreme. The cost of a high-paid pit crew was never intended for this level of racing.”
The decision was discussed on social media and included Kyle Busch, who won the event in 2009 and 2017 as a driver and had Noah Gragson win in 2018 with Kyle Busch Motorsports, and Chase Elliott, who won the Snowball Derby in 2011 and ’15. Elliott also won the 2013 Snowball Derby but was disqualified after his car failed post-race inspection.
Busch didn’t like the decision by Snowball Derby officials to do away with live pit stops. His comments led Elliott, Corey LaJoie, crew chief Chris Gabehart and Andy Houston, spotter for Austin Dillon, to join the discussion.