D.J. VanderLey had not made a start inside the cockpit of a race car since the 2015 Snowball Derby.  When the opportunity came up to drive a Pro Truck at the Snowball Derby, he made the most of it Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.


The 2011 Snowball Derby runner-up inherited the lead after early-race leaders Cody Haskins and Jarrett Parker collided on Lap 32 and survived challenges from Logan Boyett and Andrew Johnson on a flurry of late-race restarts to pick up the Snowball Derby Pro Truck feature win.


300x250 Snowball Derby PPV(3)“I was just thinking just finish it, just finish it,” VanderLey told Speed51.com powered by JEGS, “We were coming to the white flag three or four times, and then caution, and then red, and then you’d just have to sit there and you think how do I outsmart these guys again on another restart.  I pulled every trick I had and played over everything and I was about out at the end so I’m glad it’s over with.  That was a pretty good truck.”


VanderLey started his return to Five Flags Speedway strong by going fastest in the lone practice session on the day.  He started fifth in the feature and worked his way through lapped traffic before moving into third.  He remained in the third spot until first and second-place drivers Cody Haskins and Jarrett Parker got together in Turn 2, ending both of their nights.


“I guess the 46 (Parker) ran out of talent.  I don’t know, my spotter said he drove in there over his head and bobbled off of us,” Haskins said.  “The whole race he was driving slapa– sideways and he was either gonna take one of us out or wad his own stuff up.  We’ll get it back together and come here the first race, and maybe try to win the championship.”


Speed51.com was unable to reach Parker for comment.


VanderLey would take the lead after the incident and lead the rest of the way, though it was not easy.  A flurry of red flags forced him to hold off several drivers, including two-time Snowball Derby Pro Truck winner Colt James and top-10 starter in tomorrow’s Snowball Derby Logan Boyett.  On the final restart, VanderLey got out in front and held off Andrew Johnson and Boyett to win in his first start in two years.


“I’m absolutely exhausted but it feels great,” VanderLey said, “I haven’t raced in two years or something like that, and I’m out of shape.  That was just awesome.  Those guys there made me drive my butt off and that was everything that I had to give but it feels great to be back here.  I have come close to winning a lot of big races here in a Pro Late Model and a Super and we always came so, so close, but we could just never close the deal.  This for me is my biggest win here at Five Flags in my career.”


Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Saturday’s 50-lap Pro Truck feature in Speed51.com’s Trackside Now.


A video replay of the race will be available soon on Speed51.com.


-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent

-Photo credit: Speed51.com


Snowball Derby Pro Trucks Unofficial Results

Five Flags Speedway – December 2, 2017

1 38 DJ VanderLey

2 66 Andrew Johnson

3 9 Logan Boyett

4 12 Brandon Burk

5 6 Okie Mason

6 39 Mark Chrudimsky

7 37 Kaden Honeycutt

8 13 David Webster

9 06 Dale Sheen

10 28 Shawn Paul Lehman

11 1 Jonathan Langham

12 96 Rick Pollaro

13 21 Jason Welch

14 52 Eric Courville

15 54 Bubba Gale

16 58 Mickey Dearman

17 26 Ray Hoey

18 67 Daniel Bradford

19 40 Craig Roper

20 15 Colt James

21 12 Adam Haugh

22 41 Troy Grisaffi

23 95 Steven Davis

24 48 Tovia Grynewicz

25 2 Cody Haskins

26 46 Jarrett Parker

27 9 Chris Wagner

28 56 Darryl Rudd

29 15 Mark Lindley

30 14 Adams Briggs

31 29 Shanna Ard

32 05 Brandon Leonard

33 68 Lori Lindley

34 51 Trevor Bowen

35 55 Hunter Hall

36 12 Eric Wallace

VanderLey Closes the Deal in Snowball Derby Pro Trucks