Chase Elliott won the 46th annual Snowball Derby on Sunday at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. It's Elliott's second career Snowball Derby victory. Elliott dominated the event winning by over 3.5 seconds and leading 233 of the races' 300 laps. Elliott became the first driver in history to win both the Snowball Derby 300 and the Snowflake 100 in the same weekend. Elliott was proud of his efforts.
"It means the world to me honestly," Elliott said in victory lane. "What a heck of a weekend." Elliott also gave credit to his crew chief Ricky Turner, a former Snowball Derby winner himself. "It was a great call," Elliott said of a late race pit stop. "Two tires was the right call."
A late race pit stop found Elliott and his team needing to make a decision. He was leading when a lap 272 caution fell after Josh Hamner spun. Elliott had four tires left in his pit stall and could have taken four tires. Elliott and his team thought that keeping the best track position was important and they took two tires instead. It was the right call because when the race restarted on lap 280, Elliott pulled away and sped to victory.
Finishing second to Elliott was Erik Jones, the 2012 Snowball Derby winner. Finishing in the third position was Grant Enfinger who finished the race on seven cylinders. Austin Theriault finished in the fourth position with Hunter Robbins finishing in the fifth position. Finishing in the six spot was John Hunter Nemechek with veteran David Rogers coming home seventh. Finishing in the eighth position was Kyle Benjamin with Ross Kenseth coming home ninth and Derek Thorn finished in the tenth position.
Other notables in the field included Donnie Wilson in 11th, Landon Cassill in 12th, Ben Kennedy in 13th, Cale Gale in 15th, Johanna Long in 17th and Clay Rogers in 20th. Daniel Hemric finished 21st with David Ragan finishing 29th, Mike Garvey 36th and Augie Grill 37th.
Elliott started on the pole with Bubba Pollard alongside. Early in the event two time Snowball Derby winner Augie Grill had problems as a broken axle ended the day before the race even started. On lap 18 veteran Mike Garvey's engine blew ending his day. Chase Elliott pulled away and had a commanding lead when the races' first caution of the day flew for a competition yellow on lap 75. Elliott led for most of the afternoon without much of a challenge.
Youngster Daniel Hemric had issues with his rear-end linkage and Sprint Cup Series regular David Ragan would also have issues with a broken ball joint. Both drivers days were running in the top ten when the issues occurred ending their days.
The race was slowed eight times and was a relatively clean race for the Snowball Derby. The race ran for a manageable 2 hours and 12 minutes.
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