Derek Thorn will start from the pole during the 54th Snowball Derby. (Brandon Zumbach Photo)
Derek Thorn (Brandon Zumbach Photo)

Thorn Finally Secures Snowball Derby Triumph

Derek Thorn secured the 55th Annual Snowball Derby victory for the first time in his career on Sunday. 

Thorn held off Sammy Smith and Stephen Nasse in overtime to earn the win at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway. 

The 36-year-old broke through after finishing second twice in the event the past two seasons in Pensacola. 

Leading over 300 laps, the Bakersfield, Calif. native became the first winner of the Snowball Derby to hail from the state of California. 

Smith, who competes for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, led the NASCAR regulars in the event, finishing second.

Among other notables, Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron finished sixth, followed by Ty Majeski in 10th, and CARS Tour champion Carson Kvapil in 12th. 

Petty GMS Racing’s Noah Gragson end his day in 20th in the 36-car field. 

Gragson’s Cup Series teammate Erik Jones finished 33rd after getting involved in an accident on lap 175 with Majeski.