With less than 25 of 300 laps remaining, a major wreck on the frontstretch took out several contenders, leaving Stephen Nasse and Bubba Pollard to tangle for the lead, which ultimately allowed Ty Majeski to take the top spot with less than 10 laps to go.
Following a second red flag to clear debris from the track, Majeski managed a strong restart with seven laps left and fended off Gio Ruggiero, who had been two laps down at one point, to claim victory in the 56th annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
For Majeski, this win marks his second victory in the prestigious super late model event in the last four years. Currently a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Truck Series with ThorSport Racing, the 29-year-old Wisconsin native transitioned to NASCAR following a successful short track career, which included winning the Slinger Nationals twice.
Reflecting on the race, Majeski stated, “It seems like you can’t ever be fast enough to win this race. I thought we actually had the best long-run car today. We were really strong at the end of a run. I thought we were catching Nasse there when that caution came out with about 20 to go.”
Continuing, he added, “It came down to a short run. We made some adjustments to the car to make it better. I still don’t know if we could have won on a short run (with Nasse). Anything can happen in the Snowball. You just have to be in the game, right?
“You have to be in the top-five when it’s ‘go time’ and anything can happen. It was a hell of race between Nasse and I. That was a hell of a good race between a lot of good race cars and drivers.”
Travis Braden finished third, Cole Butcher finished fourth, and Matt Craig rounded out the top five. Nasse managed to rally from the late-race incident to finish sixth, whereas Pollard ended up with a 19th-place finish.
Notably, numerous notable contenders, including NASCAR drivers Noah Gragson, William Byron, and Erik Jones, were taken out of the race in a major pile-up on a restart with 25 laps to go.
Gragson encountered issues getting his car in gear as he prepared to take the green flag, causing him to slow down dramatically and get turned into the frontstretch wall, triggering a large wreck that brought out the first red flag of the race.
Last chance qualifier
In the last chance qualifying race held earlier and postponed from Saturday due to rain, Preston Peltier seized the lead with eight of 50 laps to go and managed to emerge victorious. The top finishers, including John Boles, Timothy Watson, and Ryan Moore, all transferred to the main event.
Despite initially finishing second in the LCQ, Carson Kvapil was disqualified in post-race inspection, resulting in Moore taking over one of the transfer positions.
Olivia Carter revs up excitement in the world of NASCAR. As a dedicated motorsports enthusiast, she covers race results, driver profiles, and the latest developments in the NASCAR world, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.