CARS Pro Late Model Tour
CARS Tour Announces Expanded 2023 Schedule
Nov 9, 2022
With a Snowball Derby victory already to his resume back in 2018, Noah Gragson has faced minimal pressure in his subsequent trips back to Pensacola the past two Decembers and is just looking forward to making more memories next months.
That’s right -- the soon-to-be Petty GMS NASCAR Cup Series star has entered the 55th Snowball Derby.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series championship runner-up has filed an entry under the Rette Jones Racing banner after joining the team in 2021 for a Snowflake 100 run.
"I'm super pumped," Gragson told Racing America over the weekend. "So badass. The Derby is my favorite race of the year, maybe behind Homestead, honestly. It's such an amazing atmosphere and everything that comes with that race -- seeing old friends and making new friends.
"Great memories. There's no pressure now, just go down there, have as much fun as possible. It's a really fun track."
Gragson won the Tom Dawson Trophy in his final start with Kyle Busch Motorsports before beginning a wildly successful Xfinity Series run with JR Motorsports. He earned 13 victories in 135 starts -- all of them coming over the past three seasons.
He last attempted the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing in 2020 with Phoenix Racing where he came up short in both time trials and the last chance race. He hopes to avoid playing the B-Main Bobby role next month but isn’t takin anything for granted.
"Yeah, we want to avoid it but it's a really hard race to get in," Gragson said. "I don't think everyone really appreciates what kind of teams and drivers enter that race.
"All the best drivers and cars across the country goes to Pensacola so just making the Derby is a really special accomplishment."
Gragson has made the race four times in five appearances with finishes of 25th, 9th, 12th and a win.
Last year, Gragson made a start with Mark Rette and Terry Jones and contended for the win in the Snowflake 100 before his involvement in a multi-car crash late in the race. The team is bringing a new car to Five Flags Speedway and Gragson hopes to make multiple starts with the organization in 2023 as his Cup Series schedule allows.
"I think we might do some more next year," Gragson said. "He's building a new car, Mark Rhette, Terry Jones and I really enjoy that kind of racing. Those cars are a lot of fun."
activity begins on Thursday, December 1. Late Model teams will practice
for most of the day before turning over the track to three divisions of
racing for opening night. The ZOOM Pro Trucks, Dock of Pensacola Beach
Sportsmen and Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks will crown their Snowball Derby
champions, with coverage starting at 6 p.m. ET. RacingAmerica.TV
subscribers will be able to watch Thursday's events as part of their
Friday is one of the most pressure-packed evenings in Super Late Model racing. On December 2, 30 drivers will secure their spots in the Snowball Derby through single-car qualifying. There will also be racing on Friday night, with the Modifieds of Mayhem competing for 75 laps on the Pensacola half-mile.
Saturday, December 3 features the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 for Pro Late Model competitors, with nearly 40 cars already entered for that event. Five Flags’ Outlaw division will also be in action for 50 laps to close out Saturday night. Saturday also boasts the action-packed Snowball Derby Last Chance Qualifier, which completes the field for the Derby.
Finally, on Sunday, December 4, it’s the main event of the week, the 55th Annual Snowball Derby. The best Super Late Model drivers in the land will battle for 300 laps to see who lifts the Tom Dawson Trophy and joins the historic list of Snowball Derby winners.
Thursday's events will be exclusive to RacingAmerica.TV subscribers, while Friday, Saturday and Sunday's features will be available via live pay-per-view broadcasts for fans in the US, Canada, Mexico and abroad. RacingAmerica.TV subscribers are also encouraged to monitor their e-mail inboxes for discounts on Snowball Derby pay-per-view access.