It is said every year that the Last Chance Qualifier at the Snowball Derby would create a spectacular feature race at most short tracks in America. This year’s version of the race to get into the 53rd edition of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway makes that statement even more true.
NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, two-time Snowball Derby champion Augie Grill and 2018 Snowball Derby winner Noah Gragson headline the drivers who will be part of a star-studded last chance qualifier at the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags.
Elliott was the first reigning NASCAR Cup Series Champion to enter the Snowball Derby since Bobby Allison in 1983, but he will start 11th in the 50-lap race on Saturday with only four cars transferring.
“We qualified poorly, and when you qualify poorly, you go to the Last Chance race,” said Elliott. “That’s how it works. I just need to do better. I did pretty poor this weekend giving good feedback, and I certainly didn’t do a good job getting up on the wheel in qualifying, so I will try to do better tomorrow.”
Gragson will be another competitor from the NASCAR ranks in the Last Chance Qualifier. It will be the first time he’s taken part in an LCQ, but Gragson is still enjoying the experience of being back at the Snowball Derby and confident entering Saturday.
“It’s going to be a new experience for myself. All the guys on this Phoenix Construction team, they’ve been working their tails off. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to come race. We’re not done yet, we’ve still got the Last Chance race. I’ve never missed a race in my career, so I’m going to try to keep that going.
“There’s a lot of fast race cars and a lot of fast drivers out there. It came together late, but I don’t have any excuses. We just need to keep working on it, keep trying hard, and we’ve got the team to do it.”
Grill will start on the pole for the Last Chance Qualifier, with Casey Johnson joining him on the front row.
Super Late Model star Bubba Pollard also qualified outside of the top 30, but as the Blizzard Series champion he will receive a provisional for Sunday’s race. Unofficially, Jeremy Pate will receive the Southern Super Series provisional.
A full list of drivers heading to the last chance race can be viewed below.
Race fans unable to attend the Snowball Derby can watch live on Speed51.TV. Click here to order your video ticket now for Speed51.TV’s Snowball Derby broadcast presented by Hooters.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com
Snowball Derby Last Chance Drivers
|44J||Justin T. Johnson|