Each day during our Snowball Derby coverage this week, we will look back on significant Snowball Derby moments that have taken place during the event's history. Today, we look at memorable races on December 3 during the Snowball Derby week.
Dave Mader, III beat out Mark Martin in the 1978 Snowball Derby to become the youngest winner at the time. Mader was 23 when he won the race. It wasn’t easy as Mark Martin gave him a tap late in the race as the two battled to the finish. Who knows how history would have changed if Mark Martin had won the race that year.
RESULTS: 1978 Snowball Derby
Finally, after several near misses, Jeff Purvis got the Snowball monkey off his back by leading 201 laps in the 1995 Snowball Derby. Former winners Rick Crawford and Jody Ridley made up this all-star podium in the race that went 328 laps as the annual number was added to 300 for the distance up until 1997. After that, the race was a 300-lap scheduled distance.
RESULTS: 1995 Snowball Derby
In the year 2000, Gary St. Amant pocketed his second win in the Snowball Derby. St. Amant passed Eddie Mercer with 24 laps to go and held off Jody Ridley for the win in the event. It was a big comeback story as St. Amant came from 22nd to win the race. At the time, it was one of the deeper starting spots for a winner.
RESULTS: 2000 Snowball Derby
In 2006, Clay Rogers scored a victory in the Snowball Derby thanks to some help in post-race tech. Rogers was third, but race winner Johnny Brazier was tossed for a left-side weight infraction and Gill was found to be too wide. Rogers, who was leading shortly before lap 200, figured a late race yellow could have changed the on-track outcome. However, the race went green to the finish on the final stretch after having 100 laps of caution early on.
RESULTS: 2006 Snowball Derby
Kyle Busch wins the 50th running of the Snowball Derby after he chases down Jeff Choquette and Bubba Pollard for the top spot. Busch wasn’t really a factor until the late run that saw him pass Choquette with 17 laps to go. In the middle of the race Ty Majeski took a chance on old tires to save a set for later in the race and a long run crippled his chances. The race had two long 70-lap green flag runs which was unexpected at the time.
RESULTS: 2017 Snowball Derby