PENSACOLA, FL – Customers of Alabama Late Model chassis manufacturer Grand American Race Cars, owned and operated by noted short trackers Frankie and Augie Grill, have won the last 13 Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series Super Late Model events at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway. Other chassis manufacturers have come close to de-throning the GARC nameplate in that span, but for the first time ever, there will be some extra incentive for a non-GARC car to take the win in the Papa John’s 100 Blizzard Series event on Friday, April 27th.
Five Flags Speedway has placed a $513 “bounty” on GARC cars in the 100-lap affair. If another chassis manufacturer’s car goes to victory lane, the winning driver will go home with the bonus.
“I guess that means business is good,” said Augie Grill, a two-time Snowball Derby winner, defending Blizzard Series Champion and GARC principal. “We’ve got to get our car a little bit better and Bubba (Pollard) was a little bit off in the last race, but maybe as long as Chase (Elliott, winner of the season-opening Blizzard Series race in March) keeps coming, we’ll be okay.”
The streak of 13 wins has been made possible by the efforts of three drivers, lead Grill with six wins. Chase Elliott owns four Blizzard Series victories in that span and Bubba Pollard has three.
Even though he puts the work in on the cars, Grill knows that there is still more to gain with his racing machine if he is going to keep the GARC domination in tact.
“We were pretty close, we just needed a little bit more off the corner at the end of the race,” said Grill. “Hopefully we can get that between now and then.”
The chasers are in line for a $513 bonus from Five Flags Speedway in an effort to draw in support from other cars. The win by a non-GARC chassis must come within the lines of the Five Flags Speedway Blizzard Series rule book and cannot be captured by wrecking the leader for the trophy. The bounty will be up for three races for non-GARC cars.
“That’s perfect, they need to raise the money even more,” joked an excited Mike Garvey, who competes with a Port City Race Cars chassis. “They’ve earned it. They’ve won, what, 13 in a row? We’ve got our cars running pretty good so hopefully we can get it.”
Many would consider Garvey the top non-GARC threat as he was racing with the leaders in the first Blizzard race when mechanical problems ended his day early. Garvey won the most recent Pro Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway a few weeks back.
“The chassis are identical,” said Garvey of his Pro and Super Late Models. “The engines are different, but what we run in one we run in the other. What we learned the other week will go right to our Super. We were really good in the last race in the Super until the A-frame bolt broke.”
Other key drivers in the mix will be Hamke Race Cars chassis drivers such as Kyle Benjamin, DJ VanderLey, Casey Smith and Donnie Wilson. Mike Garvey Dwayne Buggay and Chris Davidson will be threats in Port City cars, while other drivers in a multitude of different types of chassis will all take on the challenge on April 27th.
The Papa John’s 100 starts will commence on Friday, April 27th at Five Flags Speedway with practice from 4pm to 5:30pm Central Time. Blizzard qualifying will be at 7pm and racing starts at 8pm.
Fans unable to attend the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series event at Five Flags can hear it live on Speed51.com thanks to Speed 51 Radio. The broadcast will start shortly before the feature events on Friday night.
The five Blizzard Series’ and five Miller Lite Series’ events at Mobile International Speedway (AL) will make up the Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship series, where drivers competing at both tracks are eligible for overall Championship.
For more information about Five Flags Speedway, the Papa John’s 100 or the 45th Annual Snowball Derby, please visit www.5flagsspeedway.com or contact the track by calling (850) 944-8400.