UPDATE: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 5:35 PM ET —
Brandon Watson and Carson Hocevar, who were on the original entry list for the 2022 Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, have withdrawn from the event.
Hocevar, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor, tweeted that he will instead be piloting the No. 42 dirt late model in the Gateway Dirt Nationals. Here is the tweet from Hocevar:
heading to the gateway dirt nationals pic.twitter.com/UoKI48e6hM
— Carson Hocevar (@CarsonHocevar) November 28, 2022
Watson made his announcement via a Facebook post. Watson did not give any further information in the post about why he would be forgoing the Snowball Derby:
Watson was the lone NASCAR Pinty’s Series (Canadian Series) that was scheduled to compete in the Snowball Derby.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will still have representation in Pensacola though as three drivers from that series are set to battle in the Snowflake 100, the lead-up race to the big show.
There are now 58 confirmed entries on the current Snowball Derby entry list.
ORIGINAL STORY: Monday, November 28, 2022 at 11:18 AM ET —
One of the year’s most prestigious Late Model events, the Snowball Derby, is set to take place on Sunday, December 4 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. As usual, the entry list is STACKED, including a number of drivers from NASCAR and ARCA.
The weekend’s main event, the 55th running of the Snowball Derby, features an entry list with 60-plus drivers and teams, all of which are vying for a spot in the prestigious event, let alone a chance to score the victory.
Among those entered in the 300-lap contest are 13 drivers that have competed in multiple NASCAR National Series events in 2022, or are scheduled to do so in 2023. That number rises to 18, including drivers from ARCA and the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
Erik Jones – who scored his third Cup Series win at Darlington this year – will return to the Snowball Derby for his fifth attempt, piloting the No. 4. The Byron, Michigan native scored back-to-back wins in the event in 2012 and 2013. Last season, Jones finished 10th in the event.
As previously announced, 2012 NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski will make his Snowball Derby debut this year, driving the No. 6 entry with backing from Fr8Auctions and assistance from FURY Race Cars.
William Byron is the third of three full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers from 2022 that will compete in the 55th Snowball Derby, driving the No. 24 for Donnie Wilson Motorsports. In two previous attempts in the event, Byron has a best finish of eighth in 2015.
Noah Gragson – the 2018 winner of the Snowball Derby – will return to Five Flags Speedway for his sixth attempt at the prestigious event, after failing to make the main event in his last qualifying attempt in 2020. Gragson will pilot the No. 30.
Fresh off a victory in Sunday’s Thanksgiving Classic, Josh Berry is looking to secure another prestigious Late Model victory, in what will only be his second attempt at the Snowball Derby. Berry’s first attempt in 2019 resulted in a 29th-place result.
Derek Griffith, Sammy Smith, and Connor Mosack – who all debuted in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season with Toyota Racing Development – will also be taking on the Snowball Derby. While Mosack will debut in the Snowball Derby this year, both Derek Griffith and Sammy Smith have scored top-10 finishes in the event.
A mainstay when it comes to the Snowball Derby is Derek Kraus, who will contest his eighth consecutive Snowball Derby in 2022, piloting the No. 9. In those starts, Kraus has yet to score a finish better than 15th in the event.
When Kraus arrives at Five Flags Speedway this weekend, he’ll see some familiar faces from the NASCAR Truck Series garage, such as Carson Hocevar (fifth Snowball attempt), Corey Heim (fifth Snowball attempt), and Ty Majeski (ninth Snowball attempt).
Jake Garcia, who participated part-time in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2022, is also scheduled to compete in the event, in what will be his fourth attempt in the event. Garcia finished runner-up in the 2019 edition of the race.
The representation from the ARCA Menards Series garage will also be fairly strong at the Snowball Derby, with Jesse Love, Daniel Dye, Conner Jones, and Jake Finch all attempting to qualify for the event.
When it comes to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, only one driver from the Canadian-based series will attempt to qualify for the Snowball Derby, with that being Brandon Watson, a 19-time winner in the APC Late Model Tour.
However, when it comes to drivers from the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 will feature three drivers competing for the victory in the form of Alex Guenette, Kyle Steckly, and Glenn Styres.
Jake Garcia and Connor Jones will be among the drivers scheduled to run double-duty, competing in the Snowball Derby and the Snowflake 100. Notables from the ARCA Menards Series competing in the event include Leland Honeyman and Kattie Hettinger.
The Snowflake 100 will take place on Saturday, December 3rd at 3PM ET and the big show, the Snowball Derby Main Event is set for 2:00 PM ET. All of the action at Five Flags Speedway will be aired on Racing America, and is available in a Pay-Per-View stream. More details are here.