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Pavement Invaders Descend on Pensacola

Some of the best Late Model drivers and teams from across the nation are preparing for the biggest pavement late model race in the country this week, the 54th Annual Snowball Derby. Competitors from Maine to California, and everywhere in between, are arriving at Five Flags Speedway hoping for the chance to hoist the Tom Dawson Trophy.

As of Tuesday morning, 56 teams have filed entries. The list ranges from 3 former winners of the event to youngsters trying to make a name for themselves. Defending champion Ty Majeski is entered and is looking to go back-to-back, while NASCAR Cup Series star Eric Jones looks for his 3rd Derby triumph, after doubling up in 2012 and 2013. Five Time Derby champ Rich Bickle is also entered, after announcing that 2021 will be his final campaign behind the wheel.

Several other drivers with ties to the ½ mile bullring are also looking for their first Snowball Derby win. Former Southern Super Series champions Stephen Nasse and Bubba Pollard are on hand, while 2021 series champion Jake Garcia looks to nab the biggest win of his young career. Derek Thorn, a 6-time SRL Southwest Tour Champion is looking to rebound, after leading a race-high 252 laps one year ago, only to have Majeski close the deal in the final laps. Recent crown jewel winners Sammy Smith (Winchester 400) and Matt Craig (All American 400) are also looking to continue their winning ways in Pensacola.

The State of Michigan has several connections with this year's event. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series star and Portage, Michigan’s Carson Hocevar is entered for the Derby, while Kent City’s Andrew Scheid is looking to make the field in his first Snowflake 100 attempt. Several modified drivers are also making their way to Pensacola to compete with the Modifieds of Mayhem. Steven Ulman, Josh Ware, Curtis Spencer, and Nicholas Carr will be looking for strong performances in their 75 lap feature event on Friday night.

On track activity begins on Thursday with a 6-hour alternating practice session for the Super and Pro Late Models beginning at 10:00am CST. The balance of the day consists of three local divisions (Pro Trucks, Sportsmen, Pure Stocks) staging their practice, qualifying, and feature events. On Friday, the Super and Pro Late Models will be on track for additional practice, prior to Country Pleasin’ Pole Night and qualifying for the 54th Annual Snowball Derby at 6:00pm CST. Saturday will be the final chance for all drivers to punch their ticket to the big show, with Snowflake 100 Qualifying at 2:00pm CST, followed by the last chance qualifiers for both the Snowflake and Derby fields. The Snowflake 100 will go off at 7:00pm CST. And then on Sunday, it’s the 54th Annual Snowball Derby taking the green flag for 300 laps at 1:00pm CST.

Once again, you can catch all of the action all weekend long on Just log on to and follow the pay-per-view options for all four nights of racing action.



08 Jace Hanson - Evans, CO

1 Michael House - Columbia, TN

2 John Bolen - Jasper, AL

4 Erik Jones - Charlotte, NC

4 Kyle Plott - Marietta, GA

4 Luke Fenhaus - Wausau, WI

5 Casey Johnson - Edgerton, WI

6cr Ryan Preece - Kannapolis, NC

7 John DeAngelis - Cedarsburg, WI

7 Paul Shafer Jr - Portage, IN

9 Brad May - Ovideo, FL

9 Brandon Watson - Barrie, ONT

9 Hudson Halder - Cumming, GA

10 Ryan Crane - Panama City, FL

12G Derek Griffith - Hudson, NH

13 Cassius Clark - Farmington, ME

14 Carson Hocevar - Portage, MI

18 Chase Purdy - Huntersville, NC

18 Hunter Robbins - Pensacola, FL

20 Harrison Halder - Cumming, GA

21 Derek Kraus - Stratford, WI

21 Jeff Choquette - West Palm Beach, FL

21 Jesse Love - Redwood City, CA

22 Mike Garvey - Pensacola, FL

22 Sammy Smith - Johnston, IA

23 Eddie Van Meter - Indianapolis, IN

24 Mason Diaz - Manasses, VA

25 Casey Roderick - Pulaski, MS

25 Jeff Storm - Waterford, WI

26 Bubba Pollard - Senoia, GA

26 Chandler Smith - Jasper, GA

26 Jack Smith - Delaware, OH

32 Grant Enfinger - Fairhope, AL

35 Jake Garcia - Monroe, GA

36 Dan Fredrickson - Northfield, MN

43 Daniel Dye - Deland, FL

43 Derek Thorn - Bakersfield, CA

44 Jeremy Doss - Upper Lake, CA

45 Kodie Conner - Kannapolis, NC

45 Rich Bickle - Sun Prairie, WI

48 Preston Peltier - Johnstown, CO

51 Jake Finch - Panama City, FL

51 Michael Atwell - Naples, FL

51 Stephen Nasse - Pinellas Park, FL

53 Boris Jurkovic - Fort Myers Beach, FL

53 Cole Butcher - Hantsport NS, Canada

54 Matt Craig - Kannapolis, NC

62 Lee Tissot - Arden, NC

69 Michael Hinde - Hernando, FL

78 Corey Heim - Marietta, GA

79 Kyle Bryant - Navarre, FL

81 Jett Noland - Sarasota, FL

88 Perry Patino - Montgomery, AL

91 Ty Majeski - Seymour, WI

96 Kaden Honeycutt - Aledo, TX

99 Casey Smith - Austin, TX

*56 Super Late Models

Story - Rich Frantz, Horsepower Happenings

Photo - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings

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