Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Derek Thorn Snags Third-Consecutive Snowball Derby Pole, Several NASCAR Drivers Qualify Well


Derek Thorn scored his third-consecutive pole in the prestigious Snowball Derby, as he turned a lap of 16.249 seconds on Friday night, which was the fastest time in qualifying for the 54th-annual Snowball Derby.

Thorn becomes the first driver in history to score three-consecutive poles in the Snowball Derby.

“They said it was [a record], three in a row is the first time, I guess ever,” Thorn explained to “Three consecutive poles.”

While Thorn continued his tour of dominance in qualifying for the event, he hopes to score his first-career victory in the race.

“You always hope so, right? We’ve got the speed,” Thorn said to “We’ve got tomorrow to work on some race run stuff. I’ve got the Snowflake race to get me some seat time. I’m proud of these guys. Byron and Carol Campbell give us — they have an amazing team, and they give me chance to drive for them.”

While Thorn topped the speed charts, there were some NASCAR names that performed extremely well in the qualifying session as well.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Chandler Smith nailed down the second-fastest time in the session with a lap of 16.303 seconds.

Corey Heim, who ran toe-to-toe with Ty Gibbs for the ARCA Menards Series title this season, recorded the third-fastest lap in the session and NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones came home fifth-quickest in qualifying.

For Jones, who has won the Snowball Derby before, he basically got the most out of the car that he thought he would possibly be able to in qualifying.

“It was good, I was pretty happy with it,” Jones said of his qualifying lap. “I thought we had a top-10 car, maybe a top-five car if everything went well. And we ended up fifth. Happy with that.”

GMS Racing’s ARCA racer Daniel Dye was 11th-fastest, while Ryan Preece, who is looking for a ride for the 2022 NASCAR season ended the session in 12th.

Other NASCAR names included part-time National Series racers Jett Noland in 15th and Mason Diaz in 16th. Ty Majeski finished 19th fastest with Sammy Smith in 20th and Jesse Love in 23rd.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner Grant Enfinger turned the 27th-fastest lap of the session.

While not a NASCAR name, 53-year old Jeff Storm qualified in 30th, which locks him into the final spot available during qualifying for the race. For the Wisconsin-native, it was emotional as he makes the field in his first Snowball Derby attempt.

“There’s so much time and effort that goes into planning this. We started planning this race in June, actually, late May,” Storm explained. “To be able to come down here and make it on our first attempt. 30th is dramatic as hell. I don’t know what to say, I’m mentally spent.”

Any other drivers, like NASCAR Camping World Truck Series contenders Carson Hocevar and Derek Kraus, who hope to advance will have to do so by way of the Last Chance Qualifier, or in the case of five-time Snowball Derby winner Rich Bickle, by way of promoter’s provisional.

Here are the full results from 2021 Snowball Derby Qualifying

  1. Derek Thorn, 16.249 sec.
  2. Chandler Smith, 16.303 sec.
  3. Corey Heim, 16.348 sec.
  4. Casey Roderick, 16.373 sec.
  5. Erik Jones, 16.374 sec.
  6. Matt Craig, 16.374 sec.
  7. Hunter Robbins, 16.377 sec.
  8. Bubba Pollard, 16.382 sec.
  9. Casey Johnson, 16.397 sec.
  10. Jake Garcia, 16.399 sec.
  11. Daniel Dye, 16.409 sec.
  12. Ryan Preece, 16.417 sec.
  13. Kodie Conner, 16.427 sec.
  14. Mike Garvey, 16.433 sec.
  15. Jett Noland, 16.433 sec.
  16. Mason Diaz, 16.435 sec.
  17. Cole Butcher, 16.443 sec.
  18. Jeremy Doss, 16.459 sec.
  19. Ty Majeski, 16.461 sec.
  20. Sammy Smith, 16.476 sec.
  21. Preston Peltier, 16.487 sec.
  22. Kyle Plott, 16.491 sec.
  23. Jesse Love, 16.500 sec.
  24. Derek Griffith, 16.501 sec.
  25. Kaden Honeycutt, 16.504 sec.
  26. Luke Fenhaus, 16.510 sec.
  27. Grant Enfinger, 16.516 sec.
  28. Stephen Nasse, 16.521 sec.
  29. Dan Fredrickson, 16.523 sec.
  30. Jeff Storm, 16.535 sec.

Drivers relegated to Last Chance Qualifier

Jake Finch, Jace Hansen, Brad May, Carson Hocevar, Michael House, Brandon Watson, Lee Tissot, Michael Atwell, Derek Kraus, Boris Jurkovic, John DeAngelis, Rich Bickle, Paul Shafer Jr., Eddie VanMeter, Perry Patino, Michael Hinde, Kyle Bryant, Cassius Clark, John Bolen, Ryan Crane, Jeff Choquette

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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