When Logan Boyett ties up his racing shoes for the Snowball Derby weekend this year, he will be continuing a family tradition that dates back several years. No, we don’t mean the first Snowball Derby in 1968. You have to go back further to the first race ever run at the Pensacola track.
“My Grandfather, Lenny Boyett, was in the first race ever run at Five Flags Speedway,” said Boyett. “When they say racing is in your blood they really can’t get much closer to the truth with our family who helped open the track with the first race in the 1950s.”
Lenny Boyett was a Modified ace back in his day at Five Flags Speedway. He raced in the track's first event in 1953 and was a proven winner in the 1960s around the Pensacola half-mile track.
“I talked to some of the guys who raced with him and they said it always came down to one or two guys and Lenny was always one of them,” explained Boyett.
Perhaps Lenny Boyett’s biggest victories came in a one month span around 1960. On December 4, he won the big Modified race at Pensacola that would later become the Snowball Derby weekend. Just a few weeks later, he picked up the 50-lap Winter Championship which was like a Snowball Derby win as the longer races were not as popular at that point. By our record ,the Snowball Derby in 1968 was the first 100-lap race at the speedway.
“I was never really as close to my grandfather as I would have liked to have been,” said Boyett. “When I was that young I didn’t know any better. Once I started racing it really sparked our relationship and we got closer before he passed away when I was 14.
"It’s funny because my dad never raced. You would think that he would have with the popularity of my grandfather.”
Boyett will have three chances to add to the family legacy as he will race a Pro Truck, a Modified and an Outlaw Sportsman during the weekend.
“I am really excited to have this opportunity to run all three races,” said Boyett. “For the guys who run these cars, this is their Snowball Derby. The local guys take this just as seriously as the Super Late Model guys.
"I am lucky to have not one, not two, but three chances to win on Snowball Weekend. We have a really good setup under the truck and we hope that we can put it all together and finish things off on Thursday."
The triple is not that easy for Boyett, as he will run a Modified for the first time on Snowball Weekend.
“Given that the Modified race is 75 laps, I am going to have to save the tires for the end,” said Boyett. “I think we are a little down on power, but that can play into our advantage at the end of the race.”
The finale for the weekend is the Outlaw Sportsman which he has driven already this year.
“You have to drive the absolute crap out of those things,” added Boyett. “The race we won this year, we were wide open in the late stages every single lap. That’s why they tend to have more yellows because people won’t slow down and run at a pace. You have to take the chances you get to move forward.
“By the time we get to Sunday I will be worn out from all these races,” said Boyett. “We want to be racing on Sunday again, but for this year this tired driver is going to watch the big show and enjoy it.
"How often can you say the biggest race in short track racing is in your backyard? In Pensacola we can say that.”
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Racing America Southeast Correspondent