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By the Numbers: A Look at the 51st Snowball Derby

December 3, 2018 • App, Archives, Late Models, Region - National, Snowball Derby

The 51st Annual Snowball Derby has come and gone.  Let's take a look back at this year's version of America's most prestigious short track race in this edition of "By the Numbers" on Speed51.com.

 

0: The number of past champions in the field for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby. Both Steve Wallace and Augie Grill had trouble and failed to make it out of the Last Chance Race to advance to the feature on Sunday. This is the first time since the first Derby that a former winner was not in the field.

 

2: The Kyle Busch Motorsports mount that Noah Gragson won with is the same car Kyle Busch piloted to victory lane in last year’s Snowball Derby. The team spotter Tony Hirschman, Jr. spotted for both drivers making him two-for-two on the spotter stand.

 

3: Ty Majeski and Jeff Choquette each finished on the podium for the third time in their careers. For Majeski it was his first runner-up finish and for Choquette it was his first third-place run after having two second-place finishes.

 

3: For the third-straight year, Chandler Smith logged all the laps and posted a third-straight top 10 finish.

 

4: Noah Gragson scored his first win in the Snowball Derby in his fourth start.

 

4: It has not been the best of years for Donnie Wilson, but the Oklahoma City driver posted his fourth top 10 finish in his 10th Snowball Derby start.

 

4: Conner Okrzesik scored a career-best four-place finish. This was his third start and the second time he’s run all 300 laps.

 

11: At the finish, 11 cars made it under the checkered flag on the lead lap.

 

13: A total of 13 rookies started the Snowball Derby for the first time in their careers. Of the 13 only Tyler Ankrum finished in the top 10.

 

18: Noah Gragson drove the No. 18 to victory lane for only the second time in Snowball Derby history. The first was Ronnie Sanders in 1977.

 

111: Harrison Burton led a race high 111 laps from the pole and looked to be in line for a win before a late yellow ended his run as others with fresh tires blew by him in the closing laps.

 

204: Ty Majeski has now led 204 laps in the Snowball Derby. He has led the race four times in five starts and said he’ll be back next year seeking that elusive victory.

 

295: Noah Gragson took the lead on lap 295 and went on to win the Snowball Derby.

 

900: Casey Roderick, the 2018 Blizzard Series champion, completed all 300 laps for the third straight year and posted his first career top-five finish in the race.

 

Not Done Yet: Several of the same drivers and teams will return to Five Flags Speedway next Saturday, December 8 for the Allen Turner Snowflake 100. The race was washed out on Saturday, marking the first since 1982 that no on-track activity occurred on Saturday at the Snowball derby

 

Nevada: Noah Gragson is the second driver from Nevada to win the race. The other was his car owner for this event, Kyle Busch.

 

Holding True: The statistical streaks continued for the leader at halfway and 10 laps to go, as both drivers leading at those times failed to win the race this year. Raphael Lessard was the halfway leader and Harrison Burton led with 10 laps to go.

 

-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

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