CONCORD, N.C. – With just three events remaining on the 2013 Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco schedule, every position on the track matters.
Each spot means points towards the inaugural series championship as well as solidifying some drivers’ spot in the top 10 in the standings. Being in the top-10 in series points after the three final races could mean a starting position in the prestigious Snowball Derby in December.
The highest-ranking Southern Super Series driver in the top-10 in final points that does not qualify into the Dec. 8 Snowball Derby at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway will receive a provisional starting spot. Therefore, each position gained or lost in the final three races could mean far more than just a season-ending ranking.
Heading into the September 20 SSS event at Five Flags and the September 21 race at Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway, fourth through 16th in the standings are separated by 231 markers. All of those drivers will have a shot to either stay in or get into the top-10 by the time the season is complete in November at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
“We wanted to reward the drivers who came and ran the Southern Super Series with us in 2013,” said Five Flags Speedway General Manager Tim Bryant. “In the past we had given a total two provisional spots to our Blizzard Series point guys and now we cut that in half and we’ll award one for each the track’s Blizzard Series and one for the Southern Super Series. We will also award a provisional for the most recent past winner of the Derby should they need it.”
Drivers in the hunt for a top-10 ranking in the Southern Super Series points such as Allen Karnes, Bobby Knox, Jr., Mason Massey and Chet Morrison all have never run the Snowball Derby. Having a provisional in their back pocket, should they not qualify into the Snowball Derby on time, would be a huge boost for those drivers..
“I think I’d cry like a baby if I made the Snowball Derby,” admitted Karnes. “We have got some things that are starting to work. We know they will be good at the All American 400 and hopefully at Five Flags where it matters.”
Karnes has raced in a number of different series over the years and logged seven top 10’s in the NASCAR Southeast Series years ago. More recently, he’s been on the podium in a Miller Lite Series race at Mobile and is still searching for the right combination that could land him in victory lane in the Southern Super Series.
“We have not run well as of recent as we are still trying to figure out the F-45 tires that Hoosier gives us. It’s a balancing act with work and my hobby of racing which has been a challenge as of recent,” said Karnes. “The provisional is nice, but if we can make it in on time for the Derby then that’s how we want to do it.”
In addition to the tight top-10 battle for the Southern Super Series, the top-10 in the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series, points held in conjunction with the SSS events at Five Flags, is just as tight. Six drivers are within 38 markers of one another from eighth through 13th. Like with the Southern Super Series, the highest-ranking Blizzard point finisher that does not qualify on time for the Snowball Derby will be granted a provisional starting spot for the Snowball Derby.