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Loper's Emotional Win Headlines Thursday Night Snowball Derby Features

Robert Loper won the Lloyd's Glass Pure Stock Snowball Derby 35 and dedicated the victory in memory of his father.


hero image for Loper's Emotional Win Headlines Thursday Night Snowball Derby Features

Thursday night at Five Flags Speedway concluded with an emotional victory lane, as Robert Loper celebrated his fourth win in the Lloyd's Glass Pure Stock division during Snowball Derby weekend.

This victory comes just weeks after the passing of his father, giving the win special meaning for the Irvington, Alabama native.

“We worked our butts off for this," said Loper in victory lane. "This one goes out to my daddy. He died a few weeks ago after we left Montgomery. The last words he said were, ‘Damn, I’m going to miss the Derby.’ We ain’t missing it tonight. We’re here.”

Loper led the majority of the 35-lap feature, but a spree of late cautions put the win in jeopardy. Loper maintained his composure and retook the lead with two laps to go, finishing just ahead of James Hollingsworth.

“People like to get anxious on the starts and all that kind of stuff," said Loper. "Hard work and drive are going to come back in the end.”

“It was a blast racing with Robert," said Hollingsworth. "I tried to keep it clean. It is what it is. Second place isn’t too bad for the Derby. The faster car won tonight.”

After the win, Loper took a slow Polish victory lap around Five Flags Speedway in memory of his father.

“I did that lap for my dad," said Loper. "I miss him. It sucks he wasn’t going to be here, but he was with me in the car.”

In the Pro Truck feature, Steven Davis scored his second career win in the Snowball Derby Pro Truck feature, taking the checkered flag ahead of Grant Thompson.

“I’ll tell you what, we had a really good truck,” said Davis. “I can’t thank the Sanfords enough. This is what you work for every year.

“This is what everybody works for all year. Without Papa Sanford, David Jones, Mitch Smith, there are so many people that help us. Very thankful, very thankful.”

Thompson was looking for his own return to Five Flags victory lane, but came up one spot short.

“We didn’t get the best starts, just spun the tires on both of them,” said Thompson. “I can’t thank all these guys enough for their hard work. We just got beat tonight. We had a really good truck.”

James Patrick scored the win in the Dock of Pensacola Beach Sportsman 50-lapper, holding off a hard-charging Chad Robinson. Robinson had been involved in an incident during the initial start of the race, but drove his way to second place and pressured Patrick at the finish.

“I don’t know what happened on the start with him, but I’m glad he was able to finish,” said Patrick. “Had I not had all the clutch issues at the start of the year, we’d probably be the champions, too. We went to Opp, won that race, it was $2,000 to win. The two in Mobile were big money.

“Next year, we’re going money chasing. The track championship, it is what it is. It’s great to have, but the money is way better.”

As for Robinson, it was a last-minute decision to even race in Thursday’s event that nearly ended before a single lap was completed.

“I’m stupid is all I can say,” said Robinson. “I was sitting at the shop. I called Eddie [Shoemaker] and said I had the itch. He said, ‘Well, what are you waiting on, load it up.’

“At six o’clock this car didn’t have no right side on it and no front end on it. Me and him went to throwing it together and put it on the rollback and drove over here as fast as we could.”

“Everybody stacked up on the start, and I’ll be honest, I was shifting," explained Robinson about the lap one incident. "As I looked up, they were stopping and I stood on the brakes. It wasn’t stopping. I just threw it in to high and ran into Howard [Langham] and spun out. I thought the day was over with."



179Steven Davis50---
254tGrant Thompson502.874
301Treyce Capers503.301
482Presley Johnson504.462
53Allen Carter504.998
648Okie Mason5012.108
754LNick Loden5015.080
813Jake Moore5015.972
918Donnie Hamrac5017.166
1012Brandon Burks5017.235
111LMaddox Langham491 Lap
1224Ryder Wells491 Lap
1303Brandon Lopez3812 Laps
1462Cody McCawley2921 Laps
1564Bubba Gale1832 Laps
1696Rick Polaro1832 Laps
1727Kenneth Canales1832 Laps


111James Patrick50---
232Chad Robinson500.546
300Brannon Fowler503.592
419Daryl McDonald504.609
51Maddox Langham505.262
629Parker McDonald507.175
751Howard Langham509.935
848Austin Evans5010.431
944Corey Boddie5011.487
1007Jim Pokrant5014.325
118B.J. Leytham455 Laps
126Charles Davis2723 Laps


115Robert Loper35---
227James Hollingsworth350.139
306Mason Johnston351.070
497Robert Barber351.419
598Peyton Guy352.145
621nThomas Norman353.506
728Dayton Sidner355.718
834B.J. Leytham332 Laps
94jJames Dixon332 Laps
108bZack Barwick314 Laps
1110Daniel Lofton314 Laps
1230Bobby Suarez269 Laps
1321hButch Harvell269 Laps
142Connor Odom269 Laps
1514Sean Barnes269 Laps
1680Zack Jordan2114 Laps
1722John Merritt1817 Laps
188LCameron Leytham1421 Laps
1916Rocky Boyd233 Laps
56th Derby


Watch the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 on Racing America