Super Late Models
William Byron Ready for More Late Model Racing after Derby
Dec 5, 2022
- Race winner Derek Thorn set new lap leader totals by becoming the first driver to lead over 300 laps in a Snowball Derby. With that total, he became the first driver to lead over 200 laps in three straight Snowball Derby races. To top it all off, Thorn is now the all-time lap leader at the Snowball Derby with over 950 laps led as the official total will be finalized tomorrow.
- Derek Thorn becomes the ninth guy in Snowball Derby history to finish second before winning his first Snowball Derby. The other names include Jody Ridley, Rick Crawford, Eddie Mercer, Rich Bickle, Butch Miller, Jeff Purvis, Darrell Waltrip and Ty Majeski.
- Thorn is really putting his name in the record books with his recent success at the Snowball. His victory marks his fourth top-five run, which all happen to be podium finishes. Thorn joins the list of drivers like Ty Majeski, Gary St. Amant, Freddie Fryar, Dickie Davis, Rick Crawford, Darrell Waltrip and Steve Wallace who all had four podiums. Rich Bickle has the most with eighth.
- Cole Butcher scored his fifth top-10 run in the Snowball Derby after posting a fifth on Sunday. It was his third overall top-five and his fifth finish on the lead lap. Butcher has gained 25 spots from his starting position in the last two Snowball events.
- To no surprise, Stephen Nasse was a factor on Sunday after winning the Winchester 400 and the All American 400 this season. Nasse also was the hard charger award winner after starting 36th and finishing third. We have seen Nasse do this before in this event.
- On Saturday night Casey Roderick dominated the Snowflake 100 by leading all 100 laps. Roderick actually scored two wins on the weekend after he won the Pro Truck Race on Thursday. He also came from 25th to post a fourth-place finish in the Snowball Derby on Sunday. This is the fifth overall top 10 for Roderick in the Snowball Derby.
- Thanks to lap leader money and an additional bonus to the winner, the payday for Derek Thorn was more than $50,000. The $35,000 to win for Thorn was already the biggest payday since 1999, when the $100,000 bonus went to Rich Bickle, giving him $125,000 for the win.
- Derek Kraus made the Snowball Derby for the eighth time in his career after racing his way in on Saturday during the last chance race. Eight starts in a row is impressive for anyone, but he is just 21-years old. Of those eight starts, he’s come from the last chance race four times.
- Early in the race, Bubba Pollard charged from 14th to second. With pit strategy, he even took the lead for a short stretch near the end, marking the first time he’s led the race since 2017. Pollard made his 15th start in the race and will look to make number 16 next year.
- California drivers had big days in Pensacola as Derek Thorn won the race and Jacob Gomes won the $10,000 bonus for being the top rookie with a ninth-place run.
- Sammy Smith was one spot short of bringing Hamke chassis number 74 home a winner again. Smith finished second behind Thorn, marking his first podium finish in the event.