John Hunter Nemechek rallies to win 47th Snowball Derby

3 Comments

It was a long weekend, but well worth it for John Hunter Nemechek, as he emerged the winner of Sunday’s 47th annual Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

The victory in the 300-lap event around the half-mile asphalt oval capped off a rather eventful 24 hours for Nemechek, a part-time driver on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit and son of team owner and NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek.

He finished second in the event’s undercard race, the Allen Turner Snowflake 100, which began Saturday night and did not finish until 4 am early Sunday morning due to a lengthy rain delay.

Then came the main event on Sunday. Nemechek qualified third and would go on to lead 68 laps of the 300-lap event, the most of any driver.

Nemechek passed pole-sitter Hunter Robbins to retake the lead on Lap 286 and appeared headed for the win, but a wreck between fellow NASCAR driver Johanna Long and Preston Peltier with less than 10 laps remaining brought out the caution.

With most of the rest of the field pitting, Augie Grill and NASCAR driver Erik Jones grabbed the lead but both spun shortly after the ensuing restart, allowing Nemechek to again regain the point and go on to the victory.

Dalton Sargeant finished second, followed by Derek Thorn, Robbins and ARCA star Grant Enfinger.

Long, who won the 2010 Snowball Derby, is a native of the Pensacola area. She started on the outside pole but finished a disappointing 17th.

Reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series champ Chase Elliott was among the favorites in Sunday’s race, but wrecked with Jones on Lap 220 and was forced out of the race shortly afterward due to overheating.

Other notable names and their finishes in the event:

* Erik Jones ultimately finished 27th.

* Corey LaJoie (13th), son of former Busch Series champ Randy LaJoie.

* Ross Kenseth (35th), son of NASCAR star Matt Kenseth.

Here are the unofficial final results, courtesy of Tireball.com

 

Fin St # Driver Led
1 3 8 John Hunter Nemechek 68
2 25 5 Dalton Sargeant 0
3 11 43 Derek Thorn 0
4 1 18 Hunter Robbins 57
5 29 90 Grant Enfinger 7
6 20 51 Stephen Nasse 0
7 26 99 Casey Smith 0
8 4 112 Augie Grill 11
9 35 29 Anderson Bowen 2
10 18 31 Kyle Grissom 0
11 14 29 Jeff Choquette 0
12 37 2R Clay Rogers 0
13 23 07 Corey LaJoie 0
14 5 83 Scotty Ellis 7
15 30 10 Steve Dorer 0
16 26 9K Mark Kraus 0
17 2 21 Johanna Long 59
18 34 57 Cole Timm 0
19 32 91 Ty Majeski 0
20 21 37 Brian Hoar 0
21 36 11 David Rogers 0
22 19 26 Preston Peltier 0
23 17 2W Donnie Wilson 0
24 8 98 Daniel Hemric 50
25 24 11 Logan Boyett 0
26 31 88 Garrett Jones 0
27 10 51J Erik Jones 18
28 28 42P Dennis Prunty 0
29 12 9 Chase Elliott 44
30 15 26 Bubba Pollard 0
31 13 42 Chad Finley 0
32 22 2 D.J. VanderLey 0
33 33 4 Kyle Plott 0
34 7 95 Derrick Griffin 0
35 5 3 Ross Kenseth 0
36 16 41 T.J. Reaid 0
37 9 1 Mike Garvey 0

 

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

F1: Lewis Hamilton qualifies No. 1 for U.S. Grand Prix, on verge of winning 5th title

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton took a big step toward earning his fifth Formula One championship on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 for Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton and his Mercedes have won five of the previous six U.S. Grand Prix’s held at COTA, including the last four races there.

The Great Britain native comes into Sunday’s race leading the F1 point standings and is seeking to tie Juan Manuel Fangio for second-most F1 career championships. Michael Schumacher has the most with seven crowns.

Sebastian Vettel is Hamilton’s sole remaining challenger for the title, trailing Hamilton by 67 points with four races to go, including Sunday’s race.

Vettel must win Sunday’s race or finish within seven points of Hamilton to prevent the latter from winning the title and pushing a possible clinching scenario to next week in Mexico.

Vettel qualified second Saturday, but due to a red-flag three-position grid penalty sustained during Friday’s morning practice, will start fifth on Sunday’s grid.

As a result of Vettel’s penalty, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Hamilton on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Vallteri Bottas, will start third, while Daniel Ricciardo will start fourth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Here’s how qualifying played out:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:34.130 1:33.480 1:32.237 20
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:34.569 1:33.079 1:32.298 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.703 1:32.884 1:32.307 15
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:34.518 1:33.702 1:32.616 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.755 1:34.185 1:33.494 14
6 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.876 1:34.522 1:34.145 18
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.932 1:34.564 1:34.215 18
8 8 RomainGrosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:34.892 1:34.419 1:34.250 17
9 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.069 1:34.255 1:34.420 17
10 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.193 1:34.525 1:34.594 17
11 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:34.891 1:34.566 12
12 20 KevinMagnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:34.972 1:34.732 12
13 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:34.850 DNS 13
14 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.206 DNS 13
15 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.766 4
16 14 FernandoAlonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.294 6
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.362 6
18 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.480 8
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.536 8
20 2 StoffelVandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.735 6

Follow @JerryBonkowski