For the 16th consecutive year, Speed51.com will serve as the Official News Site for the 49th Annual Snowball Derby.  With the addition of the live Speed51 TV broadcast for the third year in a row, as well as on-demand videos for the Speed51 Network, Speed51.com is bringing a record number of team members to this year’s event at Five Flags Speedway (FL).

 

Many of those 51’ers have elected to join a yearly tradition here on Speed51.com powered by JEGS by making their picks for the big race.

 

According to this year's panel of Speed51.com staff members, Bubba Pollard and Ty Majeski are favorites for the 49th Annual Snowball Derby.  Pollard led the way with seven votes from the 15-person panel.  Majeski received four votes, while Daniel Hemric, Christopher Bell, Preston Peltier and Kyle Grissom also received votes.

 

Last year, it was Adam Mackey who hit the nail on the head here at Speed51.com by correctly picking Chase Elliott to win the Snowball Derby.

 

Which staff members will have bragging rights heading into the 50th Annual Snowball Derby in 2017?  Take a look below at the picks and follow along throughout the week on Speed51.com and Speed51 TV to find out.

 

Order your Speed51 TV video package for the Snowball Derby by clicking here.

 

Aaron Creed – Speed51.com Central NY & PA Editor

Pick: Ty Majeski

The Wisconsin native showed vast improvement a year ago by setting fast time and leading numerous laps.  This year, the team as a whole will work together on nearing perfection in all aspects and will be in the running closing in on lap 300.

 

Adam Mackey – Snowball Derby Play-by-Play Announcer

Pick: Ty Majeski

Majeski is the top short track driver in the country right now and likely would've won the Snowball Derby a year ago had the team's pit stops been better.  Add one more year of experience and a team that learned from its mistakes a year ago, Majeski will be tough to beat this weekend.

 

Allick Jorgensen – Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Ty Majeski

I say this is the year of Majeski. He just pulled off a miracle at the Florida Governor's Cup after an incredible season. I think he has as good a shot as anyone to get the Snowball win.

 

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Angie & Bob Dillner – Speed51.com Owners

Pick: Daniel Hemric

Daniel Hemric - In recent years we have seen some of the greatest rising young talents in our sport hoist the Tom Dawson trophy in victory lane of the Snowball Derby.  Angie and I believe this year Daniel Hemric will be next in the line to do so.  It’s a script that almost writes itself after his fiancé, Kenzie Ruston, stepped out of the seat to allow Hemric to go after the Snowball Derby once again.

 

Brandon Paul – Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Christopher Bell

As the Editor of Speed51.com I have the luxury of seeing everyone else’s picks before I make mine, so I won’t be boring and go with the popular Pollard or Majeski pick. I’m going to go with the pick that makes the most sense: the driver that crossed the finish line first one year ago.  There’s no doubt Bell knows how to get around Five Flags and KBM cars have a history of coming to the Derby with a lot of speed.  I see some sweet revenge in Bell’s future.

 

Bruce Nuttleman – Speed51.com Photographer

Pick: Ty Majeski

The kid is sharp right now coming off his second straight Governor’s Cup win.  I think the bigger question is: who is going to finish second?

 

Casey LaJoie – Speed51.com Pit Reporter

Pick: Bubba Pollard

I think his dominant performance that he had back in September for the Southern Super Series finale was a statement. It was his first race, not only in that brand new Senneker car, but his first race back on asphalt after racing his Dirt Late Models for about two months and he was in his own league.

 

Connor Sullivan – Speed51.com CT, MA, NJ & Long Island Editor

Pick: Bubba Pollard

I know I said this last year, but I'm going to be brave and say it again; this is the year Bubba Pollard finally takes home the win in the Snowball Derby. His record at Five Flags Speedway is second to none, a win in the 2014 Snowflake 100 and 11 career Super Late Model wins in Pensacola. The last one, coming this September in the Southern Super Series/Blizzard Series season finale after taking the Summer off from Late Model racing. He followed up that win with a tremendous victory in the All-American 400 at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. He plans to bring the same car that won those two races to try for the Tom Dawson trophy.

 

Elgin Traylor – Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

The car has been on jackstands ever since the All American 400. The new combo of his experience, Senneker Performance and Brandon Ernest will be a winning ride this year in Pensacola.  This will be Bubba's ninth Snowball Derby and he's won more Blizzard races than anyone.  All the stars will line up for the Georgia driver this year.

 

Mark Keeler – Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Bubba Pollard

He’s happier with this new race car than he’s been with any other car he’s ever driven.  With stuff that he says wasn’t as good as this, he’s already been able to win some of the biggest races in the country.  Teaming up with Senneker Performance may be the recipe for his first Snowball Derby win.

 

Patrick Hahe – Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Bubba has won pretty much every major event this year, it seems.  His crew has also been able to make the right changes to improve his car throughout a weekend.  I expect Pollard to cap off 2016 with a big win.

 

Rob Blount – Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Bubba Pollard

This is Pollard’s year to do it. Pollard has been as strong as ever in the new Senneker Performance cars he’s been driving since the midway point of this season.  His confidence seems to be sky-high, but he also seems pretty relaxed since the birth of his daughter. I think this is the year for Bubba Pollard.

 

Ryan McCullough – Speed51.com Deep South Correspondent

Pick: Kyle Grissom

It doesn't take a genius to pick Pollard, Bell, Majeski, Nemechek or any one of the heavy hitters. However, the Derby always seems to play host to a didn't-see-that-coming story. DJ VanderLey, Erik Jones and Zane Smith all wore Cinderella's slipper in the past (to varying degrees of success.)

 

Who does it this year? I'm going with Kyle Grissom.

 

Tim Quieveryn – 51’s The Third Turn

Pick: Preston Peltier

This year, a NASCAR Cup team from Colorado showed their mettle, broke their bad luck streak, and elevated their team from contender to championship favorite. This year Peltier and his No. 48 Colorado-based team have competed well in every race they've entered and found nothing but heartbreak. Peltier himself has overcome early-season injury and come back tougher than nails. Together, they finished 7th in this race last year and I think their equipment is better this year. If you back a dark horse in the Derby, back this one.

 

Tom Ryan – Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Ty Majeski

My pick for the 49th Snowball Derby is Ty Majeski because of his speed at 5 Flags last year and that he just needed a little better luck and he would have been the winner in 2015.

 

-Text by Speed51.com Staff. Photo credit: Speed51.com

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Majeski, Pollard the Snowball Derby Favorites in 51 Staff Poll