David Rogers will start the Snowball Derby after all.
Following his elimination from race consideration during Saturday’s last chance race, Speedway general manager Tim Bryant has decided to honor 1994 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion David Rogers with the 37th and final starting spot in the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing.
Traditionally, the Snowball Derby is comprised of 36 starting spots with a past champion’s provisional available to start 37th — a practice that was abolished in 2017.
Bryant has decided to honor Rogers with the final starting spot due to several circumstances. The 65-year-old spent the entire season away from racing while battling a lymphatic cancer. He first received the all-clear from doctors to race last month but only after losing 80 total pounds. Rogers had targeted the Derby as his return to active competition and completed that goal but failed to make the race in both time trials and the last chance race.
With the provisional, Rogers will make his 33rd start in the Snowball Derby, breaking a tie with the legendary Red Farmer.
“David’s Snowball Derby dedication has been unmatched in the history of this race,” Bryant said. “We felt like being in this race served as real motivation for David in his battle with cancer this year and we wish him the best of luck in today’s race.”