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Not Your Average Snowball Fight: A Deep Dive into The 56th Snowball Derby

There’s a distinct chill in the air, not an unfamiliar occurrence during winter. Still, this time, it indicates the arrival of one of the most prominent racing events: the 56th Annual Snowball Derby. Presented by Hooters and Safe Locator at the Five Flags Speedway, this year’s entry list has got tongues wagging already. Why? The WHO, of course. No less than 46 high-profile teams are entering this top-notch race, featuring celebrated names ubiquitous in the captivating short track and NASCAR racing world.

William Byron, notable for his recent, impressive showdown at Phoenix in the NASCAR Cup Series championship, is sure to turn the heat up on the race track. On the entry list of illustrious racers, he finds himself in the company of two-time Snowball Derby champion Erik Jones, Noah Gragson – winner of the 2018 event, and Carson Hocevar, alongside Ryan Preece. Derek Thorn, the fortunate champion last year, completes the trifecta of prior Derby winners trousering an entry, joined by ASA STARS National Tour’s Ty Majeski and Travis Braden.

The event’s eclecticism is appreciated through its varied participation pool, including almost 20 states, Canada, and Mexico. This year, the familiar expectation of champions resting easy before the qualifying night on December 1 is warped. The “champions” feeling more relaxed are those from outskirt territories.

Stephen Nasse, Bubba Pollard, Matt Craig, Jake Garcia, Hunter Robbins, Luke Fenhaus, Chase Burda, Carson and Caden Kvapil, Derek Griffith, Preston Peltier, Haeden Plybon, and Jacob Gomes – all championship-winning Late Model drivers – feature on the entry list. Add to the eclectic melting pot winners from the biggest Super Late Model races this year, including Cole Butcher, Oxford 250 and Redbud 400’s winner, and history’s youngest winner of the All-American 400, William Sawalich. Sammy Smith, a previous Winchester 400 and Redbud 400 winner, joins the glittering lineup, too.

Racing takes place from November 30 to December 3, with the official festivities kicking off on Thursday, November 30, including Snowflake 100 and Pro Trucks, Pure Stocks, and Sportsmen. The grand Snowball Derby will culminate on Sunday, December 3, opening the tracks at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET). Five Flags Speedway is set for three days of heated track battles, surprises, and intense competition – but then, what else would one expect from such esteemed participants?

About the Author

The Short Track Girl 🏁 I am a track enthusiast & racing journalist 📝. Turning up the heat on and off the track 🔥. Rocking red-soled heels like it’s the finish line 🏎️👠. Tweeting racing updates, insights, and banter at @The_ST_girl.

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