The 50th Annual Snowball Derby lived up to the hype. Fans at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and those watching live on Speed51.com were treated to 300 laps of exciting Super Late Model racing. Now, it’s time to take a look back the race “by the numbers.”
1: Preston Peltier sat on the pole for the race after having the quickest lap on Friday. He now lives in Colorado, but he’s not the first driver to sit on the front row from Colorado as Mitch Cobb started outside pole in 2008.
2: Kyle Busch became a two-time Snowball Derby winner. He is now the 11th driver to win the race more than once.
2: Jeff Choquette finished second for the second time in the Snowball Derby. He joins Rusty Wallace, Jerry Lawley and Grant Enfinger as drivers who have finished second more than once and not won the race.
3: Bubba Pollard started on the front row for the third time in his career.
8: A total of eight drivers made their Snowball Derby debut on Sunday with Chase Purdy finishing eighth, the best of all the rookies.
9: Raphael Lessard finished ninth to record his second consecutive top-10 finish in the Snowball Derby.
11: There were 11 lead changes among six drivers during the Snowball Derby.
11: At the end of the race, 11 drivers were on the lead lap; that’s down from 16 in 2016.
26: Bubba Pollard, the driver of the No. 26, won the Snowflake 100 for the second time in his career. He also won the race from the pole.
51: Preparations are already underway for the 51st annual Snowball Derby which will take place on December 2, 2018.
51: Race fans can watch an on-demand broadcast of the 50th Snowball Derby on Speed51.com. Click here to watch the replay today.
55: A total of 55 drivers took time for the 50th Snowball Derby.
66: The number of green flag laps completed to end the 2017 Snowball Derby. This is the most since 2006 when 71 green flag laps were completed to end the race.
143: The number of minutes that it took to complete the 50th Annual Snowball Derby, making it the third Derby to be run in under two-and-a-half hours since 2004.
303: Bubba Pollard has now led 303 laps in the Snowball Derby. That’s 11th all-time, but it’s third all-time among drivers who have not won the race. Only Freddie Query and Kevin Cywinski have more.
600: At the age of 15, Chandler Smith has run two Snowball Derby race and completed all 600 laps.
Brothers: Kyle and Kason Plott became the first set of brothers since Ryan and Shane Sieg to start the Snowball Derby. Prior to that, it was the Allison brothers of Donnie and Bobby who did it on several occasions, but not since 1984.
Winners: Former Snowball Derby winners were in the house for the pre-race champions breakfast. The names included Eddie Mercer, Christian Eckes, Kyle Busch, Johanna Long, Augie Grill, Mickey Gibbs, Dickie Davis, Jody Ridley, Jeff Purvis, Ricky Turner, Gary St. Amant, Rick Crawford, Dave Mader III, and Ronnie Sanders. Rich Bickle left on Saturday after not making the race and Chase Elliott was in the pits for the race. It was cool to see so many former winners on hand.
Records: Red Farmer and David Rogers are now tied with 32 starts at the Snowball Derby. Farmer ran the first 32 versions of the race in a row, while Rogers has missed a few years along the way.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com