Derek Thorn (43) and Stephen Nasse (51) lead the Snowball Derby field to a restart last year at Five Flags Speedway. (Jason Reasin Photo)
Derek Thorn (43) and Stephen Nasse (51) lead the Snowball Derby field to a restart last year at Five Flags Speedway. (Jason Reasin Photo)

Stars Converging In Florida For 54th Snowball Derby

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Drivers from across the United States are heading to Florida’s Five Flags Speedway this week for arguably the biggest asphalt super late model race in the country – the 54th annual Snowball Derby.

More than 50 competitors have pre-entered with hopes of qualifying for the 300-lap event. Among the pre-entries are some of the best asphalt super late model racers in the country as well as several with ties to NASCAR.

Included among the pre-entries are three previous Snowball Derby winners. That list is headlined by defending race winner Ty Majeski, who will look to go back-to-back in the 300-lap event this Sunday.

Other previous Snowball Derby winners on the entry list include NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones, who is a two-time Snowball Derby winner. Rich Bickle, the winningest driver in Snowball Derby history with five victories, will make his last competitive racing start during the Snowball Derby this Sunday.

Ryan Preece, who has competed in the NASCAR Cup Series the last three years with JTG Daugherty Racing, will make his Snowball Derby debut this weekend. Another NASCAR regular, Truck Series competitor Grant Enfinger, will attempt to win his first Derby this weekend in a late model fielded by Go Fas Racing.

Other NASCAR regulars on the entry list include Truck Series competitors Carson Hocevar, Derek Kraus, Chandler Smith and Chase Purdy. ARCA Menards Series East champion Sammy Smith and ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love are also on the entry list.

Two-time Snowball Derby polesitter Derek Thorn once again makes the trip from California to compete at the half-mile paved oval as he continues to chase his first Derby title. Bubba Pollard, considered one of the best to never win the Snowball Derby, returns this weekend for another attempt at the big prize.

Stephen Nasse, who crossed the finish line first during the 2019 edition of the Snowball Derby only to be disqualified in post-race technical inspection, is back for another go at Snowball Derby glory. 

Other notable entries include multi-time southeastern super late model champion Matt Craig, 2020 All-American 400 winner Casey Roderick, ARCA Menards Series race winners Corey Heim and Daniel Dye, West Coast star Jeremy Doss, perennial super late model race winner Preston Peltier, Northeastern super late model star Derek Griffith and Saturday’s Bill Bigley Jr. Memorial 128 winner at 4-17 Southern Speedway in nearby Punta Gorda, Fla., Michael Atwell. 

Action at Five Flags Speedway begins Thursday with practice for Snowball Derby competitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by practice, qualifying and racing for the truck, sportsman and pure stock divisions. 

On Friday, Snowball Derby competitors hit the track for practice from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Practice sessions for Snowflake 100 and modified competitors follow, with Snowball Derby competitors getting one last chance to prepare for qualifying with a practice session at 1 p.m. Qualifying for the 54th Snowball Derby begins at 6 p.m., followed by the Modifieds of Mayhem 75.

Saturday begins with practice sessions for various divisions, including Showball Derby competitors, who will practice from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Snowflake 100 qualifying takes place at 2 p.m., followed by last chance qualifying races for Snowflake 100 and Snowball Derby competitors. The Snowflake 100 pro late model race takes the green flag at 7 p.m.

The weekend closes with the 54th annual running of the 300-lap Snowball Derby, which is set to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

54th Snowball Derby Entry List (as of Monday, Nov. 29)

Car No. – Driver – Residence

08 – Jace Hanson – Evans, CO
1 – Michael House – Columbia, TN
10 – Ryan Crane – Panama City, FL
12G – Derek Griffith – Hudson, NH
13 – Cassius Clark – Farmington, ME
14 – Carson Hocevar – Portage, MI
18 – Chase Purdy – Huntersville, NC
18 – Hunter Robbins – Pensacola, Fl
2 – John Bolen – Jasper, AL
20 – Harrison Halder – Cumming, GA
21 – Derek Kraus – Stratford, WI
21 – Jeff Choquette – West Palm Beach, FL
21 – Jesse Love – Redwood City, CA
22 – Mike Garvey – Pensacola, FL
22 – Sammy Smith – Johnston, IA
23 – Eddie Van Meter – Indianapolis, IN
24 – Mason Diaz – Manasses, VA
25 – Casey Roderick – Pulaski, MS
25 – Jeff Storm – Waterford, WI
26 – Bubba Pollard – Senoia, GA
26 – Chandler Smith – Jasper, GA
26 – Jack Smith – Delaware, OH
32 – Grant Enfinger – Fairhope, AL
35 – Jake Garcia – Monroe, GA
36 – Dan Fredrickson – Northfield, MN
4 – Erik Jones – Charlotte, NC
4 – Kyle Plott – Marietta, GA
4 – Luke Fenhaus – Wausau, WI
43 – Daniel Dye – Deland, FL
43 – Derek Thorn – Bakersfield, CA
44 – Jeremy Doss – Upper Lake, CA
45 – Kodie Conner – Kannopolis, NC
45 – Rich Bickle – Sun Prairie, WI
48 – Preston Peltier – Johnstown, CO
5 – Casey Johnson – Edgerton, WI
51 – Jake Finch – Panama City, FL
51 – Michael Atwell – Naples, FL
51 – Stephen Nasse – Pinellas Park, FL
53 – Boris Jurkovic – Fort Myers Beach, FL
53 – Cole Butcher – Hantsport  NS, Canada
54 – Matt Craig – Kannapolis, NC                        
62 – Lee Tissot – Arden, NC
69 – Michael Hinde – Hernando, FL
6cr – Ryan Preece – Kannapolis, NC
7 – John DeAngelis – Cedarsburg, WI
7 – Paul Shafer Jr. – Portage, IN
78 – Corey Heim – Marietta, GA
79 – Kyle Bryant – Navarre, FL
81 – Jett Noland – Sarasota, FL
88 – Perry Patino – Montgomery, AL
9 – Brad May – Ovideo, FL
9 – Brandon Watson – Barrie, ONT
9 – Hudson Halder – Cumming, GA
91 – Ty Majeski – Seymour, WI
96 – Kaden Honeycutt – Aledo, TX
99 – Casey Smith – Austin, TX

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