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Snowball Derby

Ty Majeski wins 56th Snowball Derby as Nasse, Pollard dramatically do not

The story of the 56th Snowball Derby is just as much that Ty Majeski won the race but also that Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse didn’t.

Pollard, seeking his first win in the Super Bowl of Super Late Model racing in 18 attempts, darted under Nasse, seeking his first win the Super Bowl of Super Late Model racing in 13 attempts, and the door was closed.

The long long-time and occasional rivals both went around hard into Turn 1 and their long journey in pursuit of a Tom Dawson Trophy added another disappointing chapter.

“I told myself it was either going to be me wrecked or me winning and it was one of those deals where those guys behind me were fast, and definitely faster on the short run compared to me, so I knew they were going to be charging hard,” Nasse said. “That’s what happened.

“I definitely hate the way it ended. I ain’t trying to wreck any more than the next guy. I come here to win. I come here to race hard. I did crowd Bubba there a little bit but he knew what he was doing and I knew what I was doing. We were racing hard.

“I think if I really had done him wrong, he would have had a few words with me by now.”

When told that quote Pollard didn’t have a lot to add.

“Ain’t nothing else for me to say then,” he retorted.

Pollard felt like it was a ‘if I can’t win, he can’t win kind of thing’ from Nasse.

Driving the same car that won the 2020 race, Majeski knows he likely wasn’t to win straight-up reach victory lane in a head-to-head short-run battle with Nasse and Pollard, but this was an exercise in just sticking around close enough.

“We made some adjustments to the car to make it better,” Majeski said. “I still don’t know if we could have won on that short run. Anything can happen in the Snowball. you just have to be in the game. You have to be in the top five when it’s go-time, anything can happen.”

What did he see ahead of him with Pollard and Majeski?

“I am not getting in the middle of that one,” he said with a chuckle.

How is this win different than the first one?

“It’s just hard to do,” said Majeski. “You can’t just have a car fast enough to win this race. I felt like we actually had the best long-run car today. We were really strong at the end of the runs. I thought we had Nasse there before that caution came out with about 20 to go. It came down to a short-run race.”

And the most rewarding part to Majeski is that he has two Snowball Derby wins in 10 trips to Pensacola with the same family crew that he has come here with from Day One, before he was a NASCAR Truck Series contender and well before he was considered one of the best pure talents in stock car racing.

The other notable incident occurred on Lap 282 when Noah Gragson missed a shift from fourth and stacked up the entire field behind him. The melee included Jake Finch, Erik Jones, William Byron, Hunter Robbins and defending winner Derek Thorn.

“It looks like Noah messed up and we paid for it,” Finch said.

Byron said he had nowhere to go.

“I didn’t see much,” Byron said. “I think the 30 missed a shift. I thought I was getting a good restart and as soon as they bottled up, I just crashed over all of them. Pretty wild.”

It sent Robbins to the hospital.

Gragson took responsibility.

“I just screwed up,” he said. “I couldn’t get it in fourth and I don’t know if I was too fast or got on the gas too hard but I couldn’t get it in. I can’t remember the last time I missed a shift.”

Ty Majeski
Gio Ruggiero
Travis Braden
Cole Butcher
Matt Craig
Stephen Nasse
Derek Griffith
Luke Fenhaus
Jacob Gomes
William Sawalich
John Bolen
Haeden Plybon
Caden Kvapil
Johnny Sauter
Timothy Watson
Billy Vanmeter
Conner Jones
Ryan Moore
Bubba Pollard
Kole Raz
Jett Noland
William Byron
Noah Gragson
Treyten Lapcevich
Jake Finch
Derek Thorn
Jace Hansen
Hunter Robbins
Erik Jones
Michael Hinde
Ryan Preece
Michael House
Connor Okrzesik
Jackson Boone
Jeremy Doss
Preston Peltier

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 also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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