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Snowball Derby

Snowball Derby drivers draw for their qualifying order on Opening Night

Matt Weaver | STS

It’s debatable just how important the qualifying order for the Snowball Derby is nowadays, but it’s become the signature event that kicks-off the week-long affair regardless.

It used to be that the driver that was set to go out last was most-poised to capture the pole due to the low temperature, higher horsepower and increased grip. But that’s not as common nowadays with the humidity, and a misty film that covers Five Flags Speedway during qualifications each December.

The pole has now been won from the last qualifying spot, the first qualifying spot and every position in between.

For this year, Canadian Patrick Laperle will be the first to go out. He will be followed by Jeff Choquette and Derek Kraus. Even if the last qualifiers are traditionally at an advantage, the first ones aren’t that far behind.

It’s the middle positions that are the hardest to forecast with the humidity.

“Really, it’s going to be stressful no matter where you go out,” Tyler Ankrum said after drawing 17th.

READ MORE: Complete Snowball Derby coverage

But even if no one likes to admit it, the last qualifying positions are still at a premium and Chris Davidson, Jerry Artuso and Stephen Nasse will be the final drivers to go out.

Nasse seems like a sure bet to challenge for the pole given his success at Five Flags over the years. And then there’s Bubba Pollard, the most predicted winner, who has never really cared where he gors out. And this year is no exception.

“Good cars are always going to qualify up front,” Pollard said. “It ain’t gonna make a difference.”

It was a sentiment shared by Steven Wallace, too.

“The fast cars qualify up front and slow cars qualify in the back,” Wallace said. “There isn’t much that’s going to change that.”

Qualifying is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday.

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

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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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