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Thorn Matches Mercer With Fourth Snowball Derby Pole Position

Derek Thorn claimed his fourth career Snowball Derby pole on Friday, tying Eddie Mercer for most pole positions in the historic event.


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For the fourth time in the last five years, Derek Thorn qualified on the pole for the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.

Although the Country Pleasin' Sausage Pole Night began early as track officials adjusted the schedule to beat potential inclement weather, the outcome was a familiar one in recent years at Five Flags Speedway. Thorn tied Eddie Mercer for most pole positions in the event's history, circling the half-mile oval in 16.501 seconds, just ahead of Ty Majeski

Preston Peltier had logged the third-fastest time, but was disqualified in technical inspection for an unapproved body modification. Noah Gragson, Bubba Pollard and Luke Fenhaus rounded out the top five following the disqualification.

Prior to the Peltier disqualification, Gio Ruggiero missed the top 30 qualifiers which locked into the field, but he was promoted to 30th with the disqualification. Ruggiero originally was in line to receive the Deep South Crane Blizzard Series points provisional and start 35th in Sunday's field. Instead, Billy VanMeter takes the Blizzard Series provisional, as he had finished the season tied for 10th.

Jett Noland, who finished seventh in ASA Southern Super Series points, was the first eligible driver for that series' provisional.

For the remaining drivers who missed out on the top 30 in qualifying, they will take part in the Last Chance Qualifier scheduled for Saturday. Drivers in the Last Chance Qualifier include Sammy Smith, Derek Kraus, Carson Kvapil, Augie Grill, Carson Hocevar and Jake Garcia, but only four of the 17 competitors will be able to earn a spot in the main event.


17Derek Thorn16.501
291Ty Majeski16.561
330Noah Gragson16.620
426Bubba Pollard16.623
526Luke Fenhaus16.639
669Michael Hinde16.646
75Johnny Sauter16.648
851Stephen Nasse16.652
914Connor Okrzesik16.678
1032Treyten Lapcevich16.679
117Jackson Boone16.691
1212Derek Griffith16.705
1324William Byron16.716
1454Matthew Craig16.724
1516Jacob Gomes16.732
1644Jeremy Doss16.736
1718Hunter Robbins16.737
1855Haeden Plybon16.738
1932Caden Kvapil16.744
2021Travis Braden16.747
214Erik Jones16.772
2244Conner Jones16.772
2351Jake Finch16.774
241Michael House16.778
2508Jace Hansen16.780
262William Sawalich16.791
2762Ryan Preece16.792
2828Cole Butcher16.803
2963Kole Raz16.803
3022Gio Ruggiero16.830
3150Jett Noland16.832
3222Sammy Smith16.839
339Derek Kraus16.865
3435Carson Kvapil16.885
3554Conner Sutton16.892
3674Ryan Moore16.900
3758Johnny Aramendia16.913
38112Augie Grill16.923
3928Timothy Watson16.928
4014Carson Hocevar16.954
4133Dustin Smith16.967
422John Bolen16.974
4335Jake Garcia16.983
4418Chase Burda16.991
4523Billy VanMeter17.053
4632Stuart Dutton17.085
4733Albert Francis17.091
4827Travis Rodewald17.316
4948Preston PeltierDQ


122sSammy Smith
29Derek Kraus
335kCarson Kvapil
454sConner Sutton
574Ryan Moore
658Johnny Aramendia
7112Augie Grill
828wTimothy Watson
914hCarson Hocevar
1033sDustin Smith
112bJohn Bolen
1235gJake Garcia
1318bChase Burda
1432dStuart Dutton
1533fAlbert Francis
1627Travis Rodewald
1748Preston Peltier

-Photo credit: Koty Geyer/Racing America

56th Derby


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