Friday, November 30, 2018

Boyett Looks to Carry Pensacola’s Torch to Snowball Victory

Logan Boyett looks to be the 5th Pensacola driver to win the Snowball Derby. (PixelatedSPEED Photo)
Wayne Niedecken. Dickie Davis. Eddie Mercer. Johanna Long-Robbins. Four drivers. They all share two unique characteristics. All four have won the prestigious Snowball Derby, and all are from Pensacola, FL.

Wayne Niedecken Sr. has the distinction of winning the first Snowball Derby back in 1968, and also being the first repeat winner with a second victory in 1970.

Niedecken Sr. passed away in 1993, but his son, Wayne Niedecken Jr., remembered how his dad was able to win those races.

“Dad was noted for being there at the end of races,” he said. “With 15 or 20 laps to go, there he was. Races were a marathon like they still are today… saving stuff and going for the win at the end of the day. That’s what dad was good at.”

Dickie Davis won in 1973 and is still grateful for his victory 45 years later.

“It feels good to win at your home track, knowing you outran the best,” Davis, said. “It’s hard to get perspective of what you’ve accomplished until later on. When I look back now, I feel fortunate.”

Eddie Mercer’s win came in 2005. Mercer broke a 32 year long dry spell for Pensacola drivers with the win.

“I’m proud I got to win that race. That’s all I ever wanted to do in racing and I did it,” he said.

Johanna Long-Robbins won the Tom Dawson trophy in 2010 after using a set of fresh tires to muscle past Landon Cassill in the race’s closing laps.

“I can’t believe I did it,” said Long-Robbins. “It’s absolutely amazing.”

In this 51st running of the Snowball Derby, there is one bullet aiming at bringing a Derby victory back to the City of Five Flags.

Logan Boyett. This season has been a career renaissance. Boyett teamed up Gerald Boyd in the Pro Truck division in last year’s Derby. That was then parlayed into a full-blown track championship run in 2018 at Five Flags.

At this year’s Derby, Boyett plans on continuing his recent winning ways with a victory in both the Pro Truck race and hopefully the 51st Annual Snowball Derby, point of pride for the Pensacola native.

“If I were to win, it would mean the world,” Boyett stated.  “Coming from Pensacola, it means even more.  I’ve been told, you’re one of the few guys that’s carrying the torch.  And that’s true, we’re one of the few remaining drivers around here that carries the torch, and it’s great having these local drivers.   It’s always more important and meaningful to us if we get to hoist a trophy up for a Snowball Derby win.”

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