The 50th Annual Snowball Derby is now less than a week away. As we do with most major short track races throughout the country, we’re going to get you ready for the big race with a “by the numbers” look at the prestigious race held at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
0 – Number of drivers who have swept both the Snowball Derby and the Snowflake 100 in the same weekend. The closest to do it was Augie Grill in 2007 as he finished third in that year’s Snowflake before winning the Derby the next day. Chase Elliott won the Snowflake 100 and the Derby in 2013, but was disqualified from the Derby in post-race technical inspection.
2 p.m. – The start time for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. Make sure to be in your seat at the track or in front of a computer/television to watch live on Speed51.com.
2 – Rich Bickle, Butch Miller, Jeff Purvis, Darrell Waltrip, Eddie Mercer, Rick Crawford and Jody Ridley all have something in common. They are all former Snowball Derby winners, but they also all had to finish second in the big race before they won it.
5 – The number of times Rich Bickle Jr. has visited victory lane at the Snowball Derby. He holds the record for most Snowball Derby wins, as he has won five times in 11 starts. He holds a nice .454 batting average at the Pensacola half-mile oval.
12 – The number of top-five finishes Jody Ridley has collected over the years at the Snowball Derby. That’s the most of any driver in the 49 Snowball Derbys held.
16.120 – Super Late Model track record set by Ty Majeski during qualifying for the 48th Annual Snowball Derby on Friday night in 2015.
20 – The number of days that Christian Eckes missed the record for the youngest winner by. Chase Elliott was 16 years and 6 days old when he won in 2011. Eckes was 16 years and 26 days when he won one year ago.
32 – The number of Snowball Derbys started by Red Farmer. David Rogers could tie him this season if he makes the race. Farmer ran the first Derby in 1968 and was still racing as late as 1999.
36 – The number of different drivers who have won the race. Of those, only 10 drivers have won it more than once.
37 – The maximum number of cars that will start the 50th Annual Snowball Derby.
50 – This will be the 50th running of the Snowball Derby.
50 – The all-important last chance race that will happen on Saturday is a 50-lap sprint for your life. We at Speed51.com have seen blood, sweat and tears after this event as some driver’s dreams come true and others are crushed in the blink of an eye.
51 – The only number you need to know when it comes to coverage of the Snowball Derby. Speed51.com is the online home for all things Snowball Derby.
67 – The number of Super Late Model entries received as of Thanksgiving week. There could always be some late surprises.
99 – The famous number of the Niedecken family. Wayne Niedecken won twice including the inaugural race in 1968 and again in 1970. His son Junior Niedecken has competed in 28 Derbys.
233 – Chase Elliott led a race high 233 laps in 2013 and failed to win the race. He did take the checkered flag, but the win was taken away in post-race tech.
300 – The Snowball Derby is 300 laps for the Super Late Models on Sunday afternoon.
624 – Drivers have raced or attempted to qualify for the Snowball Derby.
752 – Eddie Mercer is the all-time lap leader at the Snowball Derby with 752 circuits led.
1953 – The year Five Flags Speedway opened on Pine Forest Road in Pensacola.
1968 – The first year of the Snowball Derby. It was a 100-lap event that year.
2003 – The year Charlie Bradberry flew in late from the NASCAR banquet, started shotgun on the field and won the race after an epic battle with Gary St. Amant.
13,016 – The total number of laps completed at the Snowball Derby from 1968 to 2016.
22,500 – The race pays $22,500 to win this year plus lap money for sponsored laps.
-Text by Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com