Augie Grill added to his Snowball Derby legacy Friday with his eighth overall win during Derby weekend. The Hayden, Alabama driver scored the Modifieds of Mayhem finale for a third straight year, but it was one he had to earn.
The two-time Snowball Derby winner was on the receiving end of two strong challenges during the race. Ohio driver Kyle Purvis battled with Grill for several laps just after halfway and would briefly take the top spot before a mechanical issue ended his night, allowing Grill to reclaim the lead.
Another challenge came after the final restart with 24 laps to go when fast qualifier Cody Stickler pulled to Grill’s bumper and hounded him for several laps before making the pass for the lead. Stickler would gain a few car lengths on Grill before Grill made a late charge and drove around him with six to go and score the win.
“It was just fun racing, Cody was on my bumper there for a few laps and I felt like I was doing everything I could,” Grill said of the late battle. “He got by me and was out there four or five car lengths and I thought, well I’m just going to finish second. I kind of changed my line a little bit and saw I was closing back in on him, it was about hitting my marks and get back to him and hopefully get under him. I was able to do that.”
Grill and his team had a rough start to the day after a practice incident set the team back. The issue caused Grill to make just three laps in the practice session. The team was able to fix the damage and get him back on the track for qualifying.
“We had a few problems here today with this thing. I got in the wall there and had to replace everything, the right front spindle was bent and we straightened it back out with some heat and a hammer,” he said. “Luckily we got it back together and we didn’t give up and this thing was really good in the race.”
With two more races to run this weekend, the win gives Grill a boost of momentum heading into the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 and the Snowball Derby. Not knowing when the next win will come, any trip to victory lane feels sweet.
“It’s just good to get any win of any kind at any race, they’re getting harder to come by the older I get. It was a fun race, good to lead us into tomorrow. I think I’ve got a really good Pro car for tomorrow night and we made the Derby this year, which was something we weren’t able to do last year. Hopefully we’ll have a decent run on Sunday.”
Stickler, Bruce Bennett, Korey Ruble, and Johnny Walker rounded out the top five.
Race fans who want to watch Saturday and Sunday’s Snowball Derby action can click here to purchase video tickets for Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast of the event.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com