Five Flags Speedway

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Five Flags Speedway

Another Derby, Another Piece of History and Hardware as Grill Handily Wins Modifieds 75 Lapper

By Chuck Corder

Even legends want their picture taken with Augie Grill.

In the joyous aftermath of Grill’s dominant performance to capture the 75-lap Modifieds Snowball Derby on Friday night at Five Flags Speedway, “Alabama Gang� founding member Red Farmer waded through a sea of happy humanity on the front stretch to congratulate Grill.

Then, as if he was meeting one of his heroes, the 85-year-old Farmer sidled up next to the 41-year-old Grill and the two posed for photos as digital cameras and smart phones snapped feverishly.

Who could blame the NASCAR legend? When Grill puts on a show like the one he completed Friday at the famed half-mile asphalt oval, you want to preserve the memory.

Grill couldn’t have asked for a better start to his weekend at the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. The Hayden, Alabama, driver had a great run during Derby qualifying and will start third in the golden edition of short-track’s most prestigious race Sunday.

Then, Grill followed that up by leading all but 15 of the 75 laps in the Modifieds Derby, as he became the first driver to win Derby crowns in three separate classifications in, at least, the last 30 years.

“That’s pretty cool,� Grill said when informed of the history he made Friday.

Grill has now won six Derby titles in his iconic career. He add this latest victory to his stuffed war chest that includes three Allen Turner Pro Late Model Snowflake 100 crowns and, of course, his back-to-back Derby championships (2007-2008).

Grill would not be denied Friday despite a hefty field of 31 other cars and a dense fog hanging above Pensacola’s high banks.

He took the lead from polesitter Jeff Letson on Lap 5, yielded it to Cody Stickler on Lap 11 momentarily before reclaiming it for good on Lap 22.

“The goal is always to try and save because the right rear wants to go quick on these things,� Grill said. “After the 99 (Stickler) passed me, I ran him pretty hard. Then, they started to stack up behind me, and I didn’t wanna be behind a few cars at the end, so I decided it was time to go. I was able to maintain the lead and make it happen.�

There was little anyone could do about it. Pinellas Park’s Doug Moff used lapped traffic to his advantage a few times to close the gap on Grill, but eventually settled for a runner-up finish. Kyle Purvis of Marion, Ohio, rounded out the podium.

The fog rolled in about 10 minutes before the green flag dropped and lingered for the race’s entirety. Unfortunately, for the field, the haze didn’t create any visibility issues for Grill and his No. 112 Modified, which was festive with illustrations of Derby mascot Snowball, a Santa hat and Rudolph sprinkled all over the car.


Official Results


75 Laps

50th Annual Snowball Derby

  1. 112 Augie Grill
  2. 46 Doug Moff
  3. 13P Kyle Purvis
  4. 66 Korey Ruble
  5. 51 Zachary Knowles
  6. 71 William Skaggs
  7. 0 Dillon Spreen
  8. 72 Johnny Walker
  9. 131 Jeff Letson
  10. 8 Donnie Hamrac
  11. 47 John Thomas
  12. 81H Christopher Hogan
  13. 45 Gregg Korn
  14. 77 Kevin Doran
  15. 33M Jason Morman
  16. 07 Blake Ferguson
  17. 99S Cody Stickler
  18. 101 Cameron Berry
  19. 9C Jeff Choquette
  20. 91 Jim Wall
  21. 13 Ian Webster
  22. 26 Bob Slezinsky
  23. 66R Ryan Redmon
  24. 88H Larry Hughes
  25. 74 Tony Gray
  26. 16 Billy Melvin
  27. 17 Chris Cotto
  28. 31 Parker Pugh
  29. 64 Adam Crawford
  30. 4J Dustin Jackson
  31. 18S Gary Sanford Jr.
  32. 7W Josh Ware
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