1: 2016 Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes is the first driver from New York to win the Snowball Derby.
1: Christian Eckes led only the final lap of the race and that’s all he needed to win the 49th Annual Snowball Derby.
3: Augie Grill won the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 for the third time in his career moving him into a tie with Chase Elliott for most wins in the Pro Late Model event.
3: Christian Eckes dropped the mic at the end of the 2016 racing season. He won in his final three starts of the season beginning with the Myrtle Beach 400, followed up with the Super Late Model portion of the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National and ending at the Snowball Derby. That’s one heck of a way to end a season.
5: Also during the Derby weekend, Sportsman driver Steve Buttrick won for the fifth time in his division at the Snowball Derby.
7: Grant Enfinger posted a seventh top 10-finish in the Snowball Derby in his 12th start. Enfinger has completed every lap in the last five Snowball Derby’s he has run. His best effort is still second in 2008.
8: For the eighth time in the last nine years Augie Grill failed to finish the Snowball Derby.
16: Christian Eckes joins the 16-year-old club in that of drivers who have won the race in their 16th year. Chase Elliott is still the youngest winner at 16 years and six days, Eckes is second at 16-year-old and 26 days. Erik Jones also won at 16.
20: Not trying to put the cart before the horse, but 15-year-old Connor Okrzesik started 33rd and finished 13th while completing all 300 laps in his first Derby.
21: In his first Snowball Derby, Raphael Lessard came from the last chance race to start 31st. When it was all said and done he walked away with a 10th-place finish.
50: Mark your calendar for the 50th running of the Snowball Derby on December 3, 2017. Hard to imagine that they can top this year’s finish, but it’s the Snowball Derby.
91: The 91 ride of Ty Majeski was a terror this season winning nearly 30 races, but once again he came up short in the Derby. Majeski now has two third-place runs and a pole. You can look at his determination and see he will win this race before his career is over.
169: Chad Finley led a race high 169 laps before having an engine go sour in the final laps.
Adding to the Record: John Hunter Namecheck’s finish of second at the Snowball Derby marks his third top-five run to go along with his 2014 win. Nemechek has led the race in four different years for a total of 138 laps.
Final Car Counts: A total of 236 cars raced or attempted to qualify at Five Flags Speedway over the course of the Snowball Derby weekend.
Super Late Models: 56
Pro Late Models: 55
Super Stocks: 24
He’s a Leader: Casey Roderick led nearly 200 laps at the All American 400 and a handful of laps at the Snowball only to have things not work out. Roderick did rebound to finish sixth which was a career-best finish for the Georgia driver who has wins at the Rattler 250 and the World Crown 300.
Good Run Champ: Southern Super Series champion Donnie Wilson had a smart race as he charged from 21st to finish fourth. For Wilson it’s his second top five run in the Derby.
Double Duty: Fourteen drivers drew for qualifying to take the chance at both the Snowflake 100 and the Snowball Derby. John Hunter Nemechek finished second in both races for the best showing of the double duty drivers.
Wild Weekend: Stephen Nasse had a wild weekend after winning the last chance race and then racing into the Snowflake 100. He finished eighth in the Snowflake and got wrecked out of the Derby after a tangle with William Byron.
One More Start: David Rogers leaves Pensacola knowing that he needs only one more start in the Snowball Derby to tie Red Farmer at 32 starts. Rogers was an early spectator this year as he finished 33rd.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com