Noah Gragson took the lead from Harrison Burton with a handful of laps remaining in the 51st annual Snowball Derby to give Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) back-to-back wins in the prestigious Super Late Model race.
Last year, Kyle Busch scored the victory.
It’s official… Thank you @NoahGragson @MarcusRichmond_ @T_Hosh @KBMteam for winning the #SnowballDebry and bringing home another Tom Dawson trophy. You guys ran a great race and had speed at the end to get it done!
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) December 3, 2018
It appeared to be Burton’s race to lose. He chased down Majeski with 25 laps remaining and held the top spot for five laps before a caution waved for Kale Bryant’s spin. Most of the leaders pitted under that caution, but Burton chose to stay out on old tires.
Burton faded to 10th in the final rundown.
With 16 laps remaining, Majeski was instrumental in the final caution. He and Bubba Pollard spun after making contact in Turns 1 and 2. The incident put an end to Pollard’s Snowball Derby bid for the 13th time. Pollard finished 11 laps off the pace in 26th. Last year, he finished third. KBM kept their drivers in contention with fast work in the pits and on the track.
On Lap 90, Noah Gragson came in running third and left with the lead. KBM teammate Raphael Lessard came in fifth and left second.
First pit stops of the day on lap 90 and our crews had fast stops
18 came in 3rd and leaves pit road first
51 came in 5th and left second @NoahGragson will be your leader and @raphael_lessard P2 when we go back green pic.twitter.com/xsoRIS8SGB
— Kyle Busch Motorsports (@KBMteam) December 2, 2018
The Snowball Derby started during the day time and ended under the lights for the first time in its history.
When the lights came on about the Lap 175 mark with Choquette, Lessard, Gragson, Pollard, Majeski and Burton were in the top six and they remained in contention until the final laps.
On Lap 213, Majeski took the lead from Choquette just before Stephen Nasse backed hard into the wall. Nasse had charged from the back to challenge for the top 10 by lap 100, but a mistake in the pits cost him a chance at victory.
After the incident, Nasse confronted his pit crew for leaving two tires loose on the last pit stop.
— Kyle Souza (@ksouza261) December 2, 2018
NASCAR Truck series driver Stewart Friesen started 14th, but sustained right front damage on a caution following an early restart. He retired in 34th on Lap 58.
The 2018 K&N East champion Tyler Ankrum started 24th and finished eighth.
Steven Wallace, son of Rusty Wallace, suffered a mechanical failure and stalled on the pace laps of the last chance qualifier. He was unable to continue.
— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) December 2, 2018
— Speed51.com – PFC Brakes News Feed (@speed51dotcom) December 2, 2018