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Snowball Derby

Uneventful Snowball Derby inspection day ends with qualifying order draw

Bruce Nuttleman | STS

Now hear this: Snowball Derby week officially began on Wednesday with a totally procedural technical inspection and qualifying pill draw day.

For the most part, there were no real issues in tech with head technical inspector Ricky Brooks praising the teams for their preparation before opening practice on Thursday.

“It’s been good, certainly nothing to write about,” Brooks said.

Another inspector said it was “scary” how easy the afternoon went with every car passing inspection without any major change.

Knock on wood was the other part of that exchange.

But the most important aspect of Wednesday night was the qualifying order pill draw. For time trials on Friday night, drivers will turn their two qualifying laps based on the number they randomly drew on Wednesday night.

Traditional wisdom states that the later a driver goes out, the cooler the weather is, and the faster a lap time she or he will put down.

However, Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola is unique due the humidity-based mist that films over the track in December. It makes the racing surface greasy and can come and go at any point of the night. For that reason, many drivers want to go out sooner, especially given the way time trials has played out in recent years.

So maybe somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot.

“I drew an 18 and I’m tickled to death,” Jeremy Pate said.

The fastest 30 drivers of the 57 on the ground on Friday night will automatically advance to the main event. One driver will earn an automatic provisional and the rest will go to Saturday’s Last Chance Race. Five will advance from that race to comprise Sunday’s 36-car starting lineup.

Bubba Pollard will also go out in the middle stages, 26th, but didn’t seem to care one way or the other where he drew.

“It works for us,” Pollard said. “Listen, the fastest cars are going to qualify up front. There isn’t anything that’s going to change that. It’s a pretty good spot. This is really where I wanted to be – somewhere from 20th to 30th.”

That sentiment was shared by fellow favorite Ty Majeski.

“It doesn’t matter where you qualify,” Majeski said. “The cars with speed are going to be up front.”

Making his Snowball Derby debut is NASCAR Truck Series notable Jordan Anderson and he likes his 40th place draw, even if he’s at risk of the dew.

“I like going out later just because I can watch and see what everyone else is doing,” Anderson said. “So maybe we can watch and see how cars are driving with the weather and use that to our advantage and make some adjustments once qualifying rolls around.

“It’s a coin flip, but 40th, I’ll take it.”

The complete qualifying order — based on the pill draw can be found below. New Smyrna Speedway veteran Brad May will have the opportunity go out last.


  1. Corey Heim
  2. Carson Hocevar
  3. Kyle Bryant
  4. John DeAngelis
  5. Jake Garcia
  6. David Rogers
  7. Josh Berry
  8. Derek Thorn
  9. Jesse Dutilly
  10. Matthew Craig
  11. Preston Peltier
  12. Connor Okrzesik
  13. Jack Dossey III
  14. Dalton Zehr
  15. Jett Noland
  16. Corey LaJoie
  17. Austin Nason
  18. Jeremy Pate
  19. Colten Nelson
  20. Augie Grill
  21. Derek Kraus
  22. Michael Atwell
  23. Derrick Griffin
  24. Bubba Pollard
  25. Ty Majeski
  26. Steven Davis
  27. Trey Bayne
  28. David Gilliland
  29. Jeremy Doss
  30. Rich Bickle
  31. Tim Curry
  32. Cole Moore
  33. Lucas Jones
  34. Dan Fredrickson
  35. Michael House
  36. Harrison Burton
  37. Chris Davidson
  38. Mason Mingus
  39. Casey Smith
  40. Jordan Anderson
  41. Casey Roderick
  42. Jeff Choquette
  43. Rodrigo Rejon
  44. Giovanni Bromante
  45. Hunter Robbins
  46. Jerry Artuso
  47. Derek Griffith
  48. AJ Wernette
  49. Chandler Smith
  50. Johnny VanDoorn
  51. Kyle Plott
  52. Stephen Nasse
  53. Travis Braden
  54. Boris Jurkovic
  55. Kaden Honeycutt
  56. Cole Butcher
  57. Brad May


  1. Cody Brake
  2. Wayne Anderson
  3. Justin Bonnett
  4. Bill Melvin
  5. Dan Leeck
  6. Bubba Pollard
  7. Carson Hocevar
  8. John Bolen
  9. Brandon Oakley
  10. Derek Thorn
  11. Jett Noland
  12. Rodrigo Rejon
  13. Elliott Massey
  14. Connor Okrzesik
  15. Jackson Boone
  16. Chris Hacker
  17. Mason Keller
  18. Mike Garvey
  19. Augie Grill
  20. Mason Diaz
  21. Kyle McCallum
  22. Stacey Crain
  23. Jack Dossey III
  24. Ryan Paul
  25. Justin South
  26. Stephen Nasse
  27. Jarrett Parker
  28. Jo Jo Wilkinson
  29. Jacob Beasock
  30. Trever McCoy
  31. Sammy Smith
  32. Brandon Curren
  33. Kyle Plott
  34. Daniel Dye
  35. Perry Patino
  36. Jake Griffin
  37. Dustin Smith
  38. Dylan Fetcho

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

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Phillips

    December 6, 2019 at 8:25 am

    I love racing all types I raced short track about twenty years and still love racing

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