Snowball Derby Drivers Optimistic After Qualifying Drawdown

Snowball Derby and Allen Turner Snowflake 100 competitors determined their fate for the all-important qualifying lineup during the PFC Brakes Qualifying Drawdown on Wednesday night at Five Flags Speedway (FL).  Drivers were largely optimistic with their lots, regardless of where they drew for Country Pleasin’ Pole Night.






Most drivers hope to dodge an early pick in the qualifying lineup, as weather changes dramatically as the sun sets on the Pensacola, Florida half-mile.  However, Carson Hocevar seemed excited about drawing the No. 2 NASCAR Hall of Fame diecast, representing his position in Friday’s qualifying order.


“I’m pretty happy about it,” Hocevar told Speed51.  “I just want to be in the top 25.  Last year I felt like the dew set in and we were really late last year.  I wanted to go early just to see what is going on.”


Wisconsin’s Dalton Zehr is making his Snowball Derby debut and drew the 16thspot in the lineup. He admitted he hasn’t drawn a strong opinion on the order, still figuring out what it will take to be fast enough to claim one of the 30 spots to lock into the Derby.


“Originally I was thinking if I was later, I’ll have an idea what time I will need,” Zehr explained. “After thinking about it for a minute, I’m sure practice will tell us what times we’ll be turning, everyone will be mocking up.  We should have a good idea what we need to turn, and being early I guess is not a bad thing.”


2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Derek Kraus drew what many consider to be in the prime range of the lineup with pill No. 23.  Kraus was pleased with his draw but is taking the weekend one step at a time.


“It should be good. It’s all about when the sun falls. We should be good.  We’ll try to qualify in the top 30 and be there for the race.”


In an interesting twist, Bubba Pollard drew a No. 26 to match his signature car number.  Along with the coincidence, Pollard believes it puts him in a great spot in the qualifying order.


“I think it’s a pretty good spot. The good cars will still qualify towards the front, so I don’t think it matters when you go out.  I feel pretty good about it.  That’s pretty much where I wanted to be, that 25 to 30thrange.


Another favorite in the Snowball Derby field, Ty Majeski, drew just behind Pollard with No. 27.  He didn’t put much stock into his draw, focusing on making sure he has a fast race car for Sunday.


“I feel good. We were able to come down here and test on Monday.  The car had really good balance.  It doesn’t really matter where you qualify, you’ve just got to make your race car the best you can make it.”


One of the later draws fell to Texas’ Chris Davidson, drawing No. 43.  He admitted he would rather be closer to the front of the lineup, but was glad to not be too far to one extreme or the other.


“I’d rather be a little closer to the front, before the dew sets in, but we’re not last and we’re not first so I’ll take it.”


Then there’s Cole Moore, who admitted he had just one mindset regardless of where he drew.


“I’m happy with it. Honestly, I feel like it’s going to be the same for everybody.  People play mind games with the numbers and stuff, but I say out the gate and on the gas.”


Race fans can watch all of the action at the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby on Speed51 throughout the week.  Click here to order your pay-per-view tickets now.


-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans

-Photo credit: Speed51 photo

Snowball Derby Drivers Optimistic After Qualifying Drawdown