Patrick Laperle couldn’t help but laugh when he drew the number one “sticker” in the Snowball Derby Qualifying Draw, meaning he’ll be the first driver to take the track at Five Flags Speedway (FL) Friday night.


It’s an unenviable position, but one that Laperle is more than willing to accept with some self-deprecating humor.


“Something’s wrong with me,” Laperle said while pointing to his decal marked with a big, bold “1.” “Every time I say I want to draw somewhere in the middle, I’ll draw like in the front or something. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but something’s wrong, that’s for sure.”


Laperle even put a positive twist on the events, noting that, at least briefly, he will be the provisional pole-sitter for the 51st Snowball Derby and have an excuse for anything that happens thereafter.


“I’m going to have the pole, that’s for sure,” Laperle said with a hearty laugh. “I’m going to have the fastest lap. I was hoping 20-something, nope. But anyway, you’ll see the 91 up front.”


“I think we’ve got a good shot to make the show,” Laperle added. “If I don’t make the show, I’ve got an excuse now.”


“Everything’s good, man.”


Noah Gragson picked a much higher number for his No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry, drawing 46th in the pecking order.


Many in attendance at the Green Flag Pit Party where the qualifying draw took place were congratulatory to Gragson on his pick, but the number was too late for his liking.


“They told me I needed to get between 15th and 30th,” Gragson said about the thoughts of his team. “That’s where they feel like the track is prime. So I didn’t do my job, but hopefully I can turn it around.


“Everybody was telling me, ‘Nice pick, good job, good job,’ when I was walking out,” Gragson added. “Man, I didn’t do anything but pick a sticker. Hopefully we can qualify good. I like to go earlier on, I feel like I mess myself up thinking about it and watching everyone go. I just get all spun out.”


Bubba Pollard was content with his draw for both the Snowball Derby and the Snowflake 100, getting fairly close to the sweet spot Gragson had heard.


“I drew a 39 for the Super and a 36 in the Pro. Not too bad. About middle-ways. It’s the place to start.”


However, Pollard was hesitant to say the draw would mean much in the end.


“This qualifying, unless something changes from here to Friday night, the way the weather’s looking, I don’t think it matters where you’re going out,” Pollard said. “It’s not going to get cold and change. The dew ain’t going to fall, I don’t think, like it does in years past. It’s going to be pretty equal.”


“Good cars always qualify near the front anyways,” Pollard added. “It don’t matter when you qualify.”


Pollard and the rest of the Super Late Model field will look to prove they have good cars on Friday night. Race fans unable to attend qualifying night for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby in person will be able to watch a pay-per-view broadcast all week long on, including qualifying night. Five-day video tickets can be purchased now for $74.99 ($35 savings) to watch all of the action. Click here to purchase your video ticket today.


The 51st Annual Snowball Derby will take place on Wednesday, November 28 through Sunday, December 2 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. For more information regarding the event, visit Snowball Central presented by Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants.


-Story by: Zach Evans, Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans

-Photo credit:


Snowball Derby Qualifying Order

1 91L Patrick Laperle
2 20 Jack Dossey III
3 53 Boris Jurkovic
4 19 Kason Plott
5 48 Preston Peltier
6 7S Paul Shafer Jr
7 12 Harrison Burton
8 25 Blaine Perkins
9 11B Logan Boyett
10 53B Cole Butcher
11 12G Derek Griffith
12 79 Kyle Bryant
13 11 David Rogers
14 2W Donnie Wilson
15 51A Michael Atwell
16 81 Chase Purdy
17 4 Kyle Plott
18 89 Perry Patino
19 43 Derek Thorn
20 29 Spencer Davis
21 51 Raphael Lessard
22 5M Mason Mingus
23 42 Dennis Prunty
24 24 Mason Diaz
25 7 John DeAngelis Jr
26 9C Jeff Choquette
27 112G Augie Grill
28 91 Ty Majeski
29 64 Jan Evans
30 66 Steve Wallace
31 26 Bubba Pollard
32 112 Stewart Friesen
33 37 Kaden Honeycutt
34 9 Derek Kraus
35 14O Connor Okrzesik
36 78 Corey Heim
37 18G Noah Gragson
38 30 Jesse Dutilly
39 58 Tyler Ankrum
40 14 Austin Nason
41 26S Chandler Smith
42 75 Jeremy Doss
43 18 Casey Roderick
44 14H Carson Hocevar
45 14D Chris Davidson
46 5 Jerry Artuso
47 51N Stephen Nasse

Drivers Draw High & Low During Derby Qualifying Draw