Most of the time it’s not really a story when a defending Snowball Derby winner returns to Five Flags Speedway to run a Southern Super Series event. That is unless it’s Derek Thorn who resides in Lakeport, California. The 2022 Snowball Derby victor will make the 2,500 mile trek to his east coast home, Five Flags Speedway.
“I love racing at Five Flags Speedway,” said Thorn. “From the first time we went there and flipped our car after blowing up an engine, to winning the Snowball Derby last year. There are so many special memories and it’s one of my favorite tracks. I think it’s the people too. The Bryant Family does such a great job that you want to come back and race with them when you can."
Thorn returns with a special opportunity as he will pilot the famed number 51 ride for James Finch and Phoenix Racing. Thorn will be the main driver on Friday as the regular driver, James' son, Jake Finch will be running the ARCA race at Pocono Raceway on that day.
“I am excited to be driving for James (Finch),” said Thorn. “The 51 is an iconic car in NASCAR and the short track worlds. We've teamed up with James and Jake to run the PepperJack Kennels Twin 100 weekend, which is one of my sponsors. We have had communications for years with the Finch team and Johnny Allen. I am looking forward to working with them and getting the car the best we can. They have all the pieces to the puzzle, I just need to come back and do my job as a driver.”
For Thorn it’s his second time back to Five Flags since his Derby win and this time with a second different team. In March he ran the ASA STARS Tour race for Shafer Motorsports and finished 23rd after getting taken out in a wreck. Last year, in the Twin 100 weekend, he won the second feature all the way from a starting position of 18th.
“You have to take the doubleheader one day at a time,” added Thorn. You can’t win night two on night one, you just have to take things how they come and work on your car to keep it fast. This will be our second trip there and with our second team compared to last year. We came with Shafer Motorsports and Chris Purdy in the spring and now with Finch and Phoenix Racing. These are all relationships that we have been building for years. We need to be open with communication and hopefully we will be competitive."
Racing gets underway for the PepperJack Kennels Twin 100s weekend on Friday, July 21st at 8pm. The Kioti Tractor 100 will be the main event of the night along with the Five Flags Speedway Outlaws and Pure Stocks.
Action continues on Saturday, July 22nd at 8pm as the second leg of the double dip finishes off the weekend. The American Welding Society 100 will be the final race of the weekend for the ASA Southern Super Series. The Modifieds of Mayhem and Crown Stocks will also have feature races on Saturday.
(Racing America Photo)