Gale Makes Sweet Music with Track Record, Snowball Pole

The only thing sweeter than Cale Gale’s sing-song name was his driving Friday.

Gale not only drove his No. 83 to the pole for the 43rd annual Snowball Derby on Sunday, but he also set a new track record at Five Flags Speedway and tied the all-time Derby mark.

Gale’s lightning-quick 16.335 seconds equaled Gary Balough’s mark set at the 1980 Derby.

“It means a lot,” Gale said. “That’s a record that hasn’t changed in a lot of years, and the Snowball Derby is the most prestigious short-track race in America, so to break a track record has a lot of meaning to me.”

In all, the previous Super Late Model record of 16.440 seconds fell three times Friday. Unheralded John Bolen (16.417) initially broke it before Ryan Lawler (16.403) topped him a few cars later.Gale ultimately owned them all. The Mobile, Ala., native has raced for Kevin Harvick Inc. on the NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, but Gale hopes this weekend he can make a name for himself by winning America’s premier short-track race.

The top 30 from Friday’s qualifying are guaranteed a spot in the Derby. The remaining drivers will compete in a 50-lap, last-chance qualifier at 4 p.m. Saturday. The top four will punch their Derby tickets.

QUALIFYING RESULTS
43rd Annual Snowball Derby

1 Cale Gale 16.335
2 Ryan Lawler 16.403
3 John Bolen 16.417
4 Johanna Long 16.42
5 Grant Enfinger 16.442
6 Jimmy Garmon 16.483
7 Donnie Wilson 16.484
8 Dan Fredrickson 16.495
9 Landon Cassill 16.516
10 Chase Elliott 16.525
11 Casey Roderick 16.533
12 TJ Reaid 16.562
13 Derrick Griffin 16.565
14 Dennis Prunty 16.579
15 Josh Hamner 16.586
16 Ross Kenseth 16.59
17 David Stremme 16.625
18 Augie Grill 16.635
19 Dennis Schoenfeld 16.662
20 Andy Loden 16.663
21 Chris Davidson 16.703
22 Bubba Pollard 16.71
23 Eddie Mercer 16.71
24 Korey Ruble 16.712
25 Travis Kittleson 16.715
26 Mason Mingus 16.717
27 Brandon Carlson 16.717
28 Casey Smith 16.75
29 David Ragan 16.757
30 Dave Mader III 16.77
31 Scott Hantz 16.772
32 Mike Garvey 16.775
33 Ryan Blaney 16.779
34 Heath Hindman 16.705
35 Jerry Artuso 16.813
36 Tyler Roahrig 16.823
37 David Rogers 16.824
38 Jeff Fultz 16.84
39 Johnny VanDoorn 16.85
40 Matt Smith 16.863
41 Stephen McCurley 16.87
42 Ryan Crane 16.875
43 Danny Bagwell 16.944
44 Andy Ponstein 16.949
45 Tyler Millwood 16.951
46 Allen Karnes 17.125
47 Wayne Niedecken, Jr. 17.23
48 Clay Rogers 17.555
49 Ryan Sieg no time