NASCAR notables, short track superstars headline Snowball Derby entry list

The 52nd annual Snowball Derby once again features some of the biggest names in national stock-car racing.

The 2019 stock-car season has one more significant salvo to fire off before taking a timeout for the winter.

And it’s a big one, too.

The Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, will take place for the 52nd consecutive year and will once again pit the biggest names in stock-car short track racing versus some of NASCAR’s best who are not yet ready to call it quits for the offseason.

As of Nov. 25, 55 drivers are on the preliminary entry list for Super Late Model racing’s most notorious showdown set for the first week of December. Starting on Dec. 4, the event runs through the entire week, includes several practice sessions and the most intense time trials session in stock car racing before culminating with the main event on Dec. 8.

The race pays $23,000 plush bonuses—but more importantly, the prestige of winning the Tom Dawson Trophy.

Of the 55, two have guaranteed starting positions—2019 5 Flags Speedway champion Giovanni Bromante and two-time Southern Super Series champion Casey Roderick.

In addition to the guaranteed entrants, there is no shortage of short track star power already committed to the event. The entry list contains the de facto face of pavement Late Model racing Bubba Pollard, Winchester 400 winner Stephen Nasse, Redbud 400 winner Johnny VanDoorn and Winter Showdown winner Ty Majeski.

Late Model Stock superstar and reigning Martinsville 300 winner Josh Berry will make his first trip to Pensacola as well.

While the defending winner of the race, NASCAR Xfinity Series contender Noah Gragson, will not race, his No. 51 and crew chief Marcus Richmond will return with Toyota development star Chandler Smith behind the wheel.

NASCAR Cup Series veteran David Gilliland will finally get his long-desired start in the race with understudy Taylor Gray joining him from the DGR-Crosley stable. NASCAR Cup Series regular Corey LaJoie will also return to the race after a one-year hiatus.

NASCAR Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson will make his first attempt at the event as well.

In addition to Majeski, the upper Midwest will be well represented in the form of Milwaukee Mile winner Austin Nason, Dan Fredrickson, Dalton Zehr, Boris Jurkovic and Tim Curry.

Central Midwestern race winners Jack Dossey III and John DeAngelis have entered.

The West Coast is headlined by two-time K&N Pro Series champion Derek Thorn but also features perennial contenders Garrett Evans and Jeremy Doss.

Other notables on the entry list include defending pole winner and NASCAR regular Harrison Burton, Speedfest winner Connor Okrzesik, 2017 pole winner Preston Peltier, Nova Scotia’s Cole Butcher and former Southern Super Series champion Donnie Wilson.

The Snowball Derby has been won by past and future stars of NASCAR, including five national series champions (one Sprint Cup, one Xfinity (and a second who won both a Sprint Cup and Xfinity), two Camping World Truck, total eight national championships), five Sprint Cup Series, two Xfinity Series, and seven Camping World Truck Series race winners. The 1994 Snowball Derby winner was female driver, and future NASCAR competitor, Tammy Jo Kirk. From 2011 until 2014, the Snowball was won by teenage drivers who have since won on NASCAR’s national series. In the 2010s, only one driver (2015) was in his 20s and one driver (2017) was in his 30s.

The race has previously been won by the likes of Donnie Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Steve Wallace, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.

Practice for the Snowball Derby begins on Thursday morning, Dec. 5. The next day (Friday, Dec. 6) is one of the most dramatic events in motorsports, qualifications for the Snowball Derby. Saturday, Dec. 7 will feature a last chance race and Sunday, Dec. 8 will contain the 300-lap main event.

The entry list as we currently know it can be found below.

·         Michael House

·         Derek Kraus

·         Kyle Plott

·         Jerry Artuso

·         Mason Mingus

·         Corey LaJoie

·         John DeAngelis

·         Colten Nelson

·         Jeff Choquette

·         David Rogers

·         Harrison Burton

·         Derek Griffith

·         Austin Nason

·         Carson Hocevar

·         Chris Davidson

·         Connor Okrzesik

·         Rodrigo Rejon

·         Lucas Jones

·         Taylor Gray

·         Hunter Robbins

·         Anthony Sergi

·         Cole Moore

·         Jack Dossey III

·         Jeremy Pate

·         Trey Bayne

·         Casey Roderick

·         Bubba Pollard

·         Jesse Dutilly

·         Dan Fredrickson

·         AJ Wernette

·         Derek Thorn

·         Preston Peltier

·         Jett Noland

·         Chandler Smith

·         Michael Atwell

·         Stephen Nasse

·         Boris Jurkovic

·         Cole Butcher

·         David Gilliland

·         Matt Craig

·         Josh Berry

·         Garrett Evans

·         Johnny VanDoorn

·         Jeremy Doss

·         Corey Heim

·         Joe Aramendia

·         Kyle Bryant

·         Giovanni Bromante

·         Jordan Anderson

·         Tim Curry

·         Ty Majeski

·         Steven Davis

·         Kaden Honeycutt

·         Augie Grill

·         Dalton Zehr

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