SAULT STE MARIE, ON – In just under two weeks, rising star Dustin Jackson will once again make the long haul from his team’s Northern Ontario shop to Pensacola, Florida’s lauded 5 Flags Speedway to enter the Open Wheel Modified portion of the famed Snowball Derby weekend.
“This weekend is always the toughest of any in your season,” offers Jackson. “It doesn’t matter what division you’re in or how many times you’ve raced all year – the level of the guys that you go up against in Pensacola is more intense than anywhere else. It’s the deep end of the pool for sure.”
‘The Natural’ is no stranger to 5 Flags Speedway and hopes that his previous experience at the notoriously challenging half-mile will pave the way for a strong finish to what’s been an impressive 2017 campaign.
“5 Flags is the sort‘ve place that can beat you up no matter how prepared you think you are,” explains the second-generation standout. “I think we have a real good base to build from going into the event, though. I’m as confident as I’ve ever been going down there. I believe, with everything in me, that we can put together a run to make everyone back home proud of us.”
For Jackson, the Crown Jewel event offers himself and his family-run team the chance to grab national spotlight during the biggest weekend in short track racing.
“A big performance at ‘the Derby’ could be an absolute game changer for our program,” says the fan favourite. “Everyone is at the derby. I mean – everyone. Drivers, fans, media, sponsors. Everybody is there to see who’s going to make a name for themselves and try to steal the show.”
“We know that there’s going to be some elite-level talent there – but we’re not intimidated,” adds Jackson. “There’s not a single team out there that wants this as bad as we do. We’re ready to show people exactly what we’re capable of. We’re going to Florida to turn some heads.”