Chandler Smith Pulls Off Much-Debated Move Against Derek Thorn, Wins 54th Annual Snowball Derby  

Chandler Smith Pulls Off Much-Debated Move Against Derek Thorn, Wins 54th Annual Snowball Derby     By Chuck Corder  Death, taxes, and the Snowball Derby always delivering climactic conclusions. Those are life’s three certainties.  Every year, the best Super Late Model drivers arrive at Five Flags Speedway, desperate to hoist the Tom Dawson Trophy just as the sun sets on the first Sunday in December. The latest edition of short-track racing’s mountaintop at the famed half-mile asphalt oval didn’t disappoint either.  Chandler Smith, 19, won the 54th Annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters thanks to rocketing from the back of the 37-car pack and making a late pass of California driver Derek Thorn that will be discussed and picked apart in short-track circles and on podcasts for eternity.   “Anybody who’s seen me grow up around here and other racetracks know that I don’t normally do that and that’s not me,” Smith explained his actions [...]

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Fan Update from the Snowball Derby

54th Annual Snowball Derby Sets New Records Pensacola, Florida has caught Derby Fever and fans from all over the country have flocked to 5 Flags Speedway. Not only are new track records being set, there have been new records for ticket sales as well. Snowball Derby reserve seats have been sold out and all that remains are a few general admission tickets and a limited number of pit passes that are only sold on the day of each race. Due to busy phone traffic, the ticket office is working diligently to answer as many calls as possible. As a reminder, fans can park at Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds and ride the free trolley to the track. Also, fans are reminded that the events are being broadcast by Racing America on Speed51.TV. Five Flags Speedway wants to thank all the teams, drivers and great fans that make this historic event what it is. We [...]

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Thorn wins Snowflake leading all 100 laps; Garcia 2nd, Allman, DeAngelis and Bollen; Okrzesik Wins Outlaws

Thorn Owning Derby Week, Captures Second Allen Turner Snowflake 100; Okrzesik Scores Outlaws Derby    By Chuck Corder  Derek Thorn is not of this world.  He certainly has been on another planet than everyone else at the 54th Annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters. Thorn has the Midas touch. As the kids say: “He don’t miss.” He’s Scrooge McDuck swimming through gold coins. He’s a chef’s kiss.  Thorn, 35, is hitting every line and rewriting Derby record books with each lap he puts down at Five Flags Speedway. The California driver in the No. 43 led flag-to-flag Saturday night and topped the 35 best Pro Late Model drivers in America in capturing the Allen Turner Snowflake 100. It’s his second ’Flake in three years. It also marked his second consecutive pole, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished. Thorn achieved the same history in Derby qualifying Friday night by winning the pole in back-to-back years. [...]

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Hansen, Gragson, Jean Win Last Chance Races; Bickle Earns Provisional, Will Compete for Sixth Derby Crown 

Hansen, Gragson, Jean Win Last Chance Races; Bickle Earns Provisional, Will Compete for Sixth Derby Crown    By Chuck Corder  If qualifying for the Snowball Derby is the most nerve-racking moment throughout the week, then the last chance races run a close second.  Drivers are desperate to punch their tickets into the biggest races of the season for their respective divisions. They battle three-wide, go for broke, and leave nothing to chance.  A series of three last chance races for the Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, and Outlaws cars Saturday at the 54th Annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters were no exceptions.  Jace Hansen won a thrilling 50-lap race to get into the Derby tomorrow afternoon. Derek Kraus, Carson Hocevar, and Brandon Watson also advanced. Five-time Derby winner Rich Bickle was given a promoter’s provisional and will attempt to win short-track racing’s grandaddy for a record sixth time.  NASCAR star Noah Gragson captured a wild [...]

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Snowball Derby national anthem singer Davis a Viral Sensation

Snowball Derby national anthem singer Davis a Viral Sensation    By Chuck Corder  If you’re willing to chase your dreams, music can lead you a lot of places.  Brandon Davis believes that message down to his east Tennessee bones. And it has led him this weekend to Pensacola for the 54th Annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters. Davis will sing the national anthem for the crown jewel of short-track racing just shy of 1 p.m. today at Five Flags Speedway.  Davis is rocketing toward the moon right now, a country artist who has gone viral recently through TikTok and Instagram Reels — @brandondavis_music on those two social media platforms. His sources of inspiration are wife, Destiny, and their four kids, each of whom regularly appears in his videos begging their daddy to sing something around their Chattanooga kitchen and home.  “The pandemic turned the world upside down and everyone started going to their phones because [...]

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Winslow is Fastest Qualifier for Outlaws; Thorn Another Pole

Allen Turner Snowflake 100 Qualifing order           1 43 Derek Thorn Bakersfield, CA 16.752 2 67 Colin Alman Plant City, FL 16.752 3 35 Jake Garcia Monroe, GA 16.792 4 9 Ryan Luza Cypress, TX 16.811 5 26 Cole Williams Borden, IN 16.818 6 24 William Sawalich Eden Prarie, MN 16.826 7 5 Casey Johnson Edgerton, WI 16.863 8 25 Blaine Rocha Oakdale, CA 16.865 9 69 Michael Hinde Hernando, FL 16.869 10 112 Augie Grill Hayden, AL 16.871 11 89 Chase Spradlin Oak Grove, AL 16.883 12 18 Johanna Long Robbins Pensacola, FL 16.883 13 22 Brandon  Oakley Beavercreek, OH 16.899 14 12 Derek Griffith Hudson, NH 16.901 15 9 Hudson Halder Cumming, GA 16.905 16 81 Jett Noland Sarasota, FL 16.915 17 95 Derrick Griffin Pensacola 16.918 18 32 Treyten Lapcevich Grimsby, ONT. Canada 16.93 19 47 Dakota Stroupe Maceo, KY 16.946 20 89 Dylan Fetcho Lebanon, TN 16.946 21 10 Steve Dorer Lakeland, FL 16.947 22 13 Austin MacDonald Picton, NS Canada 16.948 23 15 Mike Hopkins Herman, NC 16.953 24 29 Mason Keller Plainfield, IN 16.959 25 48 Preton Peltier Johnstown, CO 16.964 26 54 Jarrett Butcher Porters Lake, NS 16.965 27 91 Jim Wall Huntville, AL 16.965 28 51 Stephen Nasse Pinellas Park, FL 16.966 29 33 Wes Griffith Jr Crown Point, iN 16.968 30 22 Mike Garvey Pensacola 16.97 31 12 Justin Bonnet  Hayden, AL 17.016 322 14 Conner Jones Fredricksburg, VA 17.025 33 41 Hunter Jack Auburn, IN 17.035 34 36 Jake Bohlman Huntington Bch, CA 17.037 35 12 Christopher Tullis Dacula, GA 17.041 36 12 Bryson Shaffer Milan, TN 17.047 37 23 Eddie Van Meter Indianapolis,IN 17.047 38 30 Noah Gragson Las  Vegas, NV 17.052 39 53 Kyle Ivey Mt. Pleasant,  TN 17.061 40 2 John Bolen Jasper, AL 17.065 41 7 John DeAngelis Hubertus, WI 17.067 42 77 Tim Watson Panama City, FL 17.08 43 11 Stacey Crain Franklin, TN 17.097 44 90 Trevor Christiani Boise, ID 17.104 45 57 Zach Telford Middleton, ID 17.107 46 15 Mike Lovell Willits, CA 17.114 47 26 Bubba Pollard Senoia, GA 17.135 48 2 Kyle Jones Springfield, OH 17.148 49 54 Grant Thompson Mobile, AL 17.151 50 13 Nick  Egan Lomira, WI 17.155 51 34 Dylan Smith Charlotte, NC 17.21 52 20 Harrison Halder Cumming, GA 17.223 53 77 Andrew Schied Kent City, MI 17.233 54 4 Kyle  Plott Marietta, GA 17.241 55 11 Jolynn Wilkinson Bessemer, AL 17.265 56 5 Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL 17.296 57 11 Brian Reeves Daleville, AL 17.682           0 33 Dustin Smith Mobile, AL         Faith Chapel Outlaws Qualifying order  Finish Car Driver     1 92 Bubba Winslow Cantonment, FL 17.749 2 22 Connor Okrzesik Grand Bay, AL 17.789 3 1 Logan Boyett Cantonment, FL 17.834 4 407 Jason Vail   17.867 5 51 Jake Finch Panama City, [...]

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Cody Stickler Wins Modfieds of Mayhem 75, Grill 2nd, Griffin 3rd

Stickler Sticks it to the Competition, Wins First Career Modifieds Snowball Derby Title    By Chuck Corder  Five Flags Speedway had long been a pain in Cody Stickler’s career until five months ago.  He got the proverbial monkey off his back with a Modifieds of Mayhem win back in July after years of close calls and a few podium finishes. Then, came Night 2 of the 54th Annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters Friday.  Stickler won the 75-lap Modifieds edition of the Derby, passing then-leader Stephen Nasse on Lap 59 and hitting all his lines en route to his milestone victory. The Pinellas Park driver has assuredly found his groove in the right grooves of Pensacola’s high banks.  “This is amazing,” an overjoyed Stickler said, as steam unfurled off his shaved head. “We’ve been trying to get this one for five or six years now.”  Augie Grill didn’t have quite the setup he wanted, but the [...]

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California’s Derek Thorn Grabs Pole for Sunday’s Snowball (again), Times Listed

Thorn Collects 3rd Straight Derby Pole; Bickle’s Hopes for No. 6 Rests in Last Chance Race Saturday    By Chuck Corder  My, what a difference a decade can make.  At the 44th annual Snowball Derby in 2011, Derek Thorn earned the respect of fans and drivers alike when he barrel-rolled his way through Turn No. 2 at Five Flags Speedway and still managed to walk away from the incident virtually unscathed. That same group of rivals and fans respect Thorn for his immense talent. The 35-year-old from Lakeport, Calif., is a force to be reckoned with whenever and wherever he unloads.   He proved it once again Friday night at the 54th annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters. Thorn made history by capturing his third consecutive pole for the 300-lap Super Late Model race Sunday. He wheeled a 16.249-second lap, which was a half-tenth better than Chandler Smith.   “I don’t know what the odds [...]

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