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Snowball Derby

Jeff Choquette, heavy hitters lead first day of Snowball Derby practice

Matt Weaver | STS

Jeff Choquette posted the fastest overall time in Thursday practice for the Snowball Derby but would be the first to tell you that it doesn’t mean a thing.

“I felt like we executed the day well,” Choquette told Speed51.com after the three-session affair. “Practice doesn’t pay. There’s probably plenty of other cars that could have put down a good lap or maybe didn’t get a clean lap and weren’t able to show what they really had.

“Practice is a little deceiving, you can say, but it’s always nice to be able to be somewhere up front,” Choquette added. “Hopefully we can carry that into tomorrow night and get us a good starting spot for the Derby and focus on race runs.”

The Jett No. 9 rocketed around Five Flags Speedway at 16.525 seconds in the third and final session.

The theme of the first two sessions was Ty Majeski near the top of the charts and he was first and second after the first two hours of practice.

“I think it’s okay,” Majeski said. “The track’s going through a lot of changes, so we’re just trying to keep up with all that. We did a mock qualifying run at the end. Had a little bit of a miscommunication and got a bad read. We’ll regroup. We only have two sessions for tomorrow, we’ll try to get some speed into it.”

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Meanwhile, Bubba Pollard was fifth and not particularly pleased with it. But of course, Pollard has a long history of downplaying his speed after practice and he’s won the Oxford 250 and Canadian Short Track Nationals this season.

“We’re not as good as we need to be,” Pollard told Short Track Speed. “But we’re not bad. I feel like we can put ourselves in position to win. There’s a lot of racing left this weekend to make it happen for us.

“I think we’ll be fine. I think back to the Oxford 250 and I would have never thought we would win there until we started there. We have a good balance on the race car and as long as it drives good on Sunday, we’ll have a chance.”

Chandler Smith was ninth with multi-time Derby winning crew chief and driver Ricky Turner. He says this is the best he has felt in his three years running this race.

“Ricky and I think we have everyone covered on long runs so we’re just working on our short runs now,” Smith said. “We made just a handful of changes and think we’re going to be one of the cars to beat.

“Let’s see where we stand after qualifying.”

The complete combined times from Thursday Snowball Derby practice can be found below.

  1. Jeff Choquette 16.525
  2. Jesse Dutilly 16.575
  3. Derek Thorn 16.583
  4. Ty Majeski 16.606
  5. Bubba Pollard 16.639
  6. Connor Okrzesik 16.645
  7. John DeAngelis Jr. 16.661
  8. Chase Purdy 16.682
  9. Chandler Smith 16.682
  10. Raphael Lessard 16.685
  11. Harrison Burton 16.714
  12. Logan Boyett 16.715
  13. Chris Davidson 16.716
  14. Casey Roderick 16.719
  15. Stephen Nasse 16.733
  16. Jeremy Doss 16.742
  17. Kyle Plott 16.760
  18. Stewart Friesen 16.780
  19. Dennis Prunty 16.794
  20. Jerry Artuso 16.795
  21. Michael Atwell 16.805
  22. Kyle Bryant 16.825
  23. Steve Wallace 16.826
  24. Preston Peltier 16.833
  25. Derek Griffith 16.833
  26. Carson Hocevar 16.854
  27. Noah Gragson 16.862
  28. Kason Plott 16.866
  29. Spencer Davis 16.874
  30. Steve Wallace 16.879
  31. Tyler Ankrum 16.888
  32. Austin Nason 16.890
  33. Paul Shafer Jr 16.924
  34. Jack Dossey III 16.936
  35. Boris Jurkovic 16.947
  36. Blaine Perkins 16.953
  37. Perry Patino 16.961
  38. Mason Diaz 16.963
  39. David Rogers 17.011
  40. Donnie Wilson 17.014
  41. Derek Kraus 17.031
  42. Patrick Laperle 17.040
  43. Mason Mingus 17.044
  44. Kaden Honeycutt 17.088
  45. Corey Heim 17.112
  46. Augie Grill 17.114
  47. Jan Evans 17.329

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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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