With anticipation building for the nation’s biggest asphalt Super Late Model race, Five Flags Speedway officials have released the first look at this year’s Snowball Derby entry list. Currently, 47 drivers from 18 states and one Canadian province have filed entries for the crown jewel race. Additional entries are expected to be added to the list in the weeks leading into the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby on December 2-6.
The first version of the Snowball Derby entry list is highlighted by the return of defending race winner Travis Braden, who only just recently confirmed that he would definitely be competing in this year’s race. Two other former race winners have also filed entries for the race, with five-time winner Rich Bickle, Jr. and two-time winner Augie Grill chasing another Tom Dawson Trophy.
A healthy dose of 2020 Late Model champions will be competing in the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby. ARCA Midwest Tour and TUNDRA Super Late Model champion Casey Johnson, Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series champion Chris Davidson, Southern Super Series champion Stephen Nasse, CARS Tour champion Matt Craig and Blizzard Series champion Bubba Pollard will all be competing in the race.
The current entry list is also filled with big race winners from the 2020 season. Carson Hocevar, the winner of the Redbud 400 and Winchester 400, will be looking to end a strong Super Late Model season with the biggest win of them all. He’ll be joined by All American 400 winner Casey Roderick, All-Star Showdown winner Derek Thorn and CRA SpeedFest winner Corey Heim.
Ty Majeski, the winner of the Rattler 250, Slinger Nationals, Dixieland 250 and Oktoberfest 200, will return to the Snowball Derby looking to score the victory that has eluded him in recent years.
Derek Griffith, a winner of two big $10,000-to-win Super Late Model races in New England this season, will be representing the Northeast during his third consecutive trip to Pensacola.
Veteran driver and team owner Donnie Wilson will be bringing a four-car attack to the Snowball Derby, including a car for himself. NASCAR Truck Series driver Chandler Smith and Texas native Kaden Honeycutt will join forces with Wilson with hopes of scoring a victory for the Oklahoma City based team. During a year in which he hasn’t been able to cross the border due to COVID restrictions, Nova Scotia driver Cole Butcher will also driver for Wilson after a third-place finish in 2019.
Like in recent years, a healthy contingent of drivers from the Midwest will once again be making the trip to the panhandle of Florida for the Snowball Derby.
NASCAR Truck Series driver Derek Kraus will join ARCA Midwest Tour regulars Dalton Zehr, Gabe Sommers and John DeAngelis, Jr. as drivers who will be looking to bring the Tom Dawson Trophy back to Wisconsin. The aforementioned Bickle and Majeski will give the Badger State additional opportunities to win the crown jewel race.
Fellow ARCA Midwest Tour drivers Austin Nason, Boris Jurkovic and Paul Shafer, Jr. will represent the state of Illinois in this year’s Snowball Derby. Champion Racing Association (CRA) winners Jack Dossey III and Mason Keller will go to battle for the state of Indiana. Four-time Oktoberfest 200 winner Dan Fredrickson will represent Minnesota, while Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Sammy Smith will represent the state of Iowa.
In addition to last year’s Snowball Derby polesitter Derek Thorn, the west coast will be well represented at this year’s Derby. Thorn’s chief rival and 2019 Kulwicki Driver Development Program champion Jeremy Doss will make his fourth consecutive trip to Pensacola. 2017 Snowball Derby polesitter Preston Peltier, who now resides in Las Vegas, has also filed an entry and will return to the race after a fifth-place finish last year. Veteran racer Bob Lyon will compete in the race after entering all four Blizzard Series races at Five Flags Speedway in 2020.
Of course, the Southeast region will also be represented by some of the most successful drivers in the region.
A pair of Pensacola based drivers will be looking to become the first hometown drivers to win the Snowball Derby since Johanna Long in 2010. One of those drivers is Long’s husband Hunter Robbins, who will be driving the Ronnie Sanders No. 18 car. Logan Boyett will also be looking for success in the big race while driving for Jett Motorsports.
Other Florida drivers entered for the race include Kyle Bryant, Daniel Dye and former Blizzard Series winner Jesse Dutilly. A to-be-announced entry has also been filed for the No. 81 Anthony Campi Racing team based out of Sarasota, Florida.
A strong contingent of drivers from the state of Georgia, including the aforementioned Bubba Pollard and Chandler Smith, will be looking to bring the Tom Dawson Trophy back to the Peach State for the first time since Chase Elliott did it last in 2015. Alabama 200 winner and last year’s Snowball Derby runner-up Jake Garcia hopes to do one spot while working with Ricky Turner, the same crew chief who guided Elliott to his victories. The Plott brothers — Kyle and Kason — have both filed entries, as have fellow Georgia drivers Hudson Halder and Kyle McCallum.
Led by two-time race winner Augie Grill, the state of Alabama will have three chances to win the Snowball Derby. Recent Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series winner Connor Okrzesik and NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Perry Patino are also entered.
After claiming the pole for the All American 400 at Nashville, Kodie Conner will bring his tiger-striped No. 45 to Pensacola to represent the Tar Heel State of North Carolina. Mason Diaz, who drove for Venturini Motorsports on the ARCA Menards Series East circuit in 2020, will be the lone representative from the state of Virginia.
The complete entry list for the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby can be viewed below.
More information on the Snowball Derby, including the most up-to-date entry lists, can be found by visiting Snowball Central on Speed51.com.
Race fans unable to make it to Pensacola will be able to watch the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby on Speed51.TV. Video tickets can be purchased now by clicking here.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Content Manager – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51
53rd Annual Snowball Derby Entry List (As of 11/14/20)
No. NameHometown 2Donnie WilsonOklahoma City, OK 2Kaden HoneycuttAledo, TX 4Kyle PlottMarietta, GA 4MKyle MccallumMacon, GA 5Casey JohnsonEdgerton, WI 7John DeAngelisHubertus, WI 7Paul Shafer, Jr. Portage, IL 9Derek KrausStratford, WI 9Hudson HalderCumming, GA 11Logan BoyettPensacola, FL 12GDerek GriffithHudson, NH 14Austin NasonRoscoe, IL 14Carson HocevarPortage, MI 14Chris DavidsonAlvin, TX 14Connor OkrzesikGrand Bay, AL 15Gabe SommersPlover, WI 18Hunter RobbinsPensacola, FL 19Kason PlottMarietta, GA 20Jack Dossey IIIIndianapolis, IN 24Mason DiazManasses, VA 25Casey RoderickPulaski, MS 26Travis BradenWheeling, WV 26SChandler SmithJasper, GA 29Mason KellerPlainfield, IN 30Jeremy DossUpper Lake, CA 30Jesse DutillyBradenton, FL 35Jake GarciaMonroe, GA 36Dan FredricksonNorthfield, MN 43Daniel DyeDeland, FL 43Derek ThornBakersfield, CA 44Bob LyonsAgua Dulce, CA 45Kodie ConnerKannapolis, NC 45Rich Bickle, Jr. Sun Prairie, WI 48Preston PeltierLas Vegas, NV 51Sammy SmithJohnston, IA 51Stephen NassePinellas Park, FL 53Boris JurkovicManhattan, IL 53Cole ButcherHantsport, NS, Canada 54Matt CraigKannapolis, NC 71Bubba PollardSenoia, GA 78Corey HeimDavidson, NC 79Kyle BryantNavarre, FL 81TBASarasota, FL 88Perry PatinoAlabaster, AL 91Ty MajeskiCharlotte, NC 112Augie GrillHayden, AL 119Dalton ZehrVerona, WI