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Snowball Derby

Snowball Derby qualifying guide: How to make the biggest show of the year

Matt Weaver | STS

There is only one man on the premises who is guaranteed a starting spot in the 51st Snowball Derby and that doesn’t even make him immune to the nervousness of Friday afternoon.

By virtue of his Southern Super Series championship and Five Flags Speedway track championship this summer, Casey Roderick will make the field of 36 regardless of his qualifying time. That means just one of the 46 drivers set to take two timed laps knows his Sunday plans.

But again, Roderick still cares about hos qualifying effort.

“Hell yeah, I care,” Roderick said. “It’s the Snowball Derby. I want to win the pole. I want to win everything here. But really, you want to start up front and control the race. There are a lot of reasons to want to qualify well here.”

For everyone else though, this is the most dramatic time trials session in all of motorsports.

The session will lock-in the top-30. Roderick or a past champion will automatically qualify as well — should he not make it in on time. If Roderick qualifies in on time, then the two provisionals will go to the highest finishing Southern Super Series and Five Flags Speedway drivers in points respectively.

Those who don’t qualify in on time or have a provisional go to the 50-lap last chance race on Saturday night.

It never fails that every year a surprise driver fails gets bumped.

“It’s the race before the race, man,” Steven Wallace said. “It’s terrifying.”

Wallace won the race back in 2004 but in his last appearance back in 2016, missed the show and was relegated to the past champion’s provisional.

“It’s so intense,” Ankrum said. “This is just my second year but it doesn’t feel like any other qualifying session in the country. There are butterflies, jitters, you name it. These are the best short track drivers in the country and the rule book keeps us so close together. You can’t mess up because that’s the difference between the top-10 and the last chance.”

Even two-time NASCAR K&N West champion Derek Thorn says he feels it.

“You go into like a trance,” Thorn said. “I don’t talk to anyone. You just sit in the car and you make sure you’re ready to go. You can’t give up a single tenth – not against this field.”

Qualifying for the Snowball Derby is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and will air live on Speed51.com.

The qualifying order can be found below.

1 91L Patrick Laperle
2 20 Jack Dossey III
3 53 Boris Jurkovic
4 19 Kason Plott
5 48 Preston Peltier
6 7S Paul Shafer Jr
7 12 Harrison Burton
8 25 Blaine Perkins
9 11B Logan Boyett
10 53B Cole Butcher
11 12G Derek Griffith
12 79 Kyle Bryant
13 11 David Rogers
14 2W Donnie Wilson
15 51A Michael Atwell
16 81 Chase Purdy
17 4 Kyle Plott
18 89 Perry Patino
19 43 Derek Thorn
20 29 Spencer Davis
21 51 Raphael Lessard
22 5M Mason Mingus
23 42 Dennis Prunty
24 24 Mason Diaz
25 7 John DeAngelis Jr
26 9C Jeff Choquette
27 112G Augie Grill
28 91 Ty Majeski
29 64 Jan Evans
30 66 Steve Wallace
31 26 Bubba Pollard
32 112 Stewart Friesen
33 37 Kaden Honeycutt
34 9 Derek Kraus
35 14O Connor Okrzesik
36 78 Corey Heim
37 18G Noah Gragson
38 30 Jesse Dutilly
39 58 Tyler Ankrum
40 14 Austin Nason
41 26S Chandler Smith
42 75 Jeremy Doss
43 18 Casey Roderick
44 14H Carson Hocevar
45 14D Chris Davidson
46 5 Jerry Artuso
47 51N Stephen Nasse

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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