New Smyrna Speedway champion Brad May
CRA Triple Crown winner Carson Hocevar
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway champion Michael House
Five-time Snowball Derby winner Rich Bickle
The starting lineup for the 2021 Snowball Derby last chance race reads like a Super Late Model feature event from anywhere else in the country -- and these were the drivers who failed to post a top-30 lap time in qualifications on Friday night.
Time trials for the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing is considered the most exciting qualifying session in pavement racing and it lived up the moniker leaving several marquee names backed into a 50-lap last chance race in order to make the biggest race of the year.
The four highest finishers that pass technical inspection after 50 laps will earn starting positions 31-34.
Hocevar has two wins in the Money in the Bank at Berlin with victories in the Winchester 400 and Redbud 400 over the past two years. With that said, Five Flags Speedway has always been a struggle. He made the race via the last chance in 2018 but failed to advance over the past two years.
This year, his team brought a brand-new car designed entirely to race at Five Flags and it has been exceptional. Naturally, their car blew a head gasket in qualifying and a repair means they will have to start at the rear of the field in the Last Chance Race.
Meanwhile, Derek Kraus is looking to make his seventh consecutive Snowball Derby, but it will be the third time he’s needed to come through the Last Chance Race to get there.
"It's kind of an every year thing that we've struggled in qualifying," Kraus said. "We've worked hard but were loose in and tight off. Hopefully, we can get that fixed and make the race.
"Finish in the top four. Just keep the fenders on it and make the top-four."
Bickle is confident he will be able to contend for a win on Sunday, but it was a self-inflicted mistake that he didn't make the race on speed.
"It's basically my fault," Bickle said. "I told them what gear to put in it and that was the wrong gear. I was on the chip halfway to where I should have been. The motor was shutting off on the backstretch. We would have made the show easily if it wasn't for that.
"It's part of the game, and we've been in the game a long time, and we know how to overcome it. We had problems at Kaukauna and won the race. We had problems in the Sauter race and we overcame it. Maybe it's an omen that we can come back to the front and put a show on for the fans."
SNOWBALL DERBY LAST CHANCE RACE
- Jace Hansen
- Brad May
- Carson Hocevar
- Michael House
- Brandon Watson
- Lee Tissot
- Derek Kraus
- Boris Jurkovic
- John DeAngelis
- Rich Bickle
- Paul Shafer Jr.
- Eddie VanMeter
- Perry Patino
- Kyle Bryant
- Cassius Clark