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Top 50 Snowball Derby Drivers of All-Time: 21-30

November 22, 2017 • App, Archives, Late Models, Region - National, Region - Southeast, Snowball Derby, Top Stories

As we approach the 50th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway, it only makes sense to put together a list of the top 50 drivers who have helped shape the history of the prestigious race.  We start today with a look at #31 through #40 on the all-time list.

 

If you haven’t viewed #31 – #40 on the all-time list, you can do so by clicking here.  #41 – #50 on the all-time list can be viewed by clicking here

 

30 – Ricky Turner

Starts – 5

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 2

Top 10s – 2

 

Some say Turner’s win was an upset, but the Georgia driver was a contender in Late Model action before and after his historic Derby win.  Turner sailed under the white flag chasing Chris Davidson before making a last-lap pass to score the win. It was the only lap he ever led in the Snowball Derby. He came back to get fifth the next year  After winning the race as a driver, Turner won two more on the pit box with Chase Elliott.

 

300x250 Snowball Derby PPV29 – Charlie Bradberry

Starts – 7

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 2

Top 10s – 2

 

Charlie Bradberry will always be remembered for his exciting journey from a snowstorm in New York to victory lane at the Snowball Derby.  Bradberry ran third the year before and just missed top 10 runs on two other occasions.  In all, he ran seven times in Pensacola in December.  His win and crash will never be forgotten.

 

28 – Pete Hamilton

Starts – 3

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 1

Top 10s – 1

 

The legacy of Pete Hamilton at the Snowball Derby was short and sweet.  The former Daytona 500 winner won the pole twice and then captured the checkered flag in the 1974 Snowball Derby.  He was the only driver to win the Derby and the 500 until Darrell Waltrip won the 500 in 1989.  Hamilton was a car guy and part of his ride ended up as a part of the 1977 winning ride of Ronnie Sanders.  Hamilton passed away earlier this year.

 

27 – Donnie Allison

Starts – 9

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 1

Top 10s – 3

 

Donnie Allison, like his brother Bobby, was as much a part of the early years of the Snowball Derby as he was in NASCAR. Donnie won the pole in 1971 and followed it up with a win in 1975.  In all, he had three top-10 runs at the Snowball.  He has nine Snowball starts on record, but there’s no confirmation that he started the race in 1969.  Allison will go down as the first winner from Alabama.

 

Wayne Anderson was the 2001 Snowball Derby winner. (Speed51.com photo)

Wayne Anderson was the 2001 Snowball Derby winner. (Speed51.com photo)

26 – Wayne Anderson

Starts – 8

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 2

Top 10s – 3

 

Wayne Anderson only ran the Derby eight times, but he found his way to the front five times during the various stages of the race.  His win came early on in his third try in 2001.  He followed that up with an eighth and fourth over his next two runs.  In 2008, Anderson was in the mix for another win when he got wrecked with less than 100 to go.

 

25 – Friday Hassler

Starts – 2

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 1

Top 10s – 2

 

Before his death in 1971, Friday Hassler ran a pair of Snowball Derbys with his best result coming in the second race.  The 1969 race was the fastest Snowball Derby ever as the 100-lap event took just over 30 minutes to run, according to the local Pensacola paper. Hasler would return for a sixth-place finish the following year.

 

24 – Ed Howe

Starts – 4

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 2

Top 10s – 3

 

Ed Howe made a big impression on the southern crowd in just a few short years.  Howe was the first driver outside of the region to win the Snowball Derby in 1972.  Howe sat on the pole that year and captured another Snowball Derby pole in 1977.  He also was fourth in 1975 and seventh in his last Derby in 1977.   

 

John Hunter Nemechek in victory lane at the 47th Annual Snowball Derby. (Speed51.com photo)

John Hunter Nemechek in victory lane at the 47th Annual Snowball Derby. (Speed51.com photo)

23 – John Hunter Nemechek

Starts – 5

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 3

Top 10s – 4

 

Every time John Hunter Nemechek has fired up a car at the Derby he’s been a contender. He won the 2014 race after a series of restarts and finished second in a barnburner to Christian Eckes one year ago. He has three starts inside the first two rows and completed all but six laps in his five Derby runs.

 

22 – Mickey Gibbs

Starts – 8

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 2

Top 10s – 3

 

Gibbs was a solid driver for a stretch in the early 80s when he won the 1983 running and posted a fifth in 1981.  He also posted another top 10 before he took several years off to run NASCAR.  Gibbs’ final few Derby runs were all races that left him a spectator before halfway.  Gibbs was the third driver from Alabama to win the Derby.

 

21 – Kyle Busch

Starts – 3

Wins – 1

Top Fives – 2

Top 10s – 2

 

Busch finished 33rd in 2002 and felt that he needed to return in order to improve his effortBusch returned to Pensacola in 2009 to win one of the coldest Snowball Derbys on record.   In 2012, Busch made another trip to Five Flags Speedway for a podium run in which he got beat out by Erik Jones, who would later drive for KBM.

 

-Text by Speed51.com Staff

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