52nd Annual Snowball Derby

In it's 52nd running, the Snowball derby did not disappoint.

52nd+Annual+Snowball+Derby

Tyler Sontag

Eli Thompson, Staff Reporter

With rain on the horizon, and the qualifying round about to start, runners in the 52nd annual Snowball Derby knew that they weren’t going to be making it to work following their Sunday evening race. 

Derek Thorn rolled off the grid on the pole with Cole Butcher and Corey Lajoie rounding out the top 3. The 37 car field went up through the gears as the green flag waved, and immediately the #51N of Stephen Nasse looked hot, rolling corners faster than everyone, and moving his way up through the field, after starting 36th. 

The best late model drivers in the nation, from California to Texas, and Wisconsin to New York, these drivers fought and worked hard to be in the race they’re in, and no one was giving an inch. Early on, there were small incidents, knocking out slower cars and opening the rack up for the faster cars to really “duke it out.”

The late models howled around the track through the evening, and what everyone hoped would be the last caution came. Ty Majeski and Stephen Nasse made up the front row, and when the green flag dropped, all hell broke loose. Majeski missed his shift, sending the 3rd place 22 car of Casey Roderick into his rear bumper, and around he went in front of a field of race cars with cold brakes and winding motors. 

Nasse escaped the pile up with no damage, miraculously, and went on to drive away from the field and win the 52nd annual Snowball Derby. 

Following post-race tech inspection, it was found that Nasse’s car was running titanium caps on the brake calipers, which hold in heat, keeping the brakes effective. Nasse was disqualified, since there is no protesting black and white rules, and the win was given to 2nd place finisher Travis Brayden. 

Nasse apologized to his team for the let down, and even though he didn’t get to bring home that famous snowball, he went home knowing he crossed the line first in the biggest race of his career.