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Truck Series’ Chandler Smith wins 54th Snowball Derby

Kyle Larson works through his people to thank, including his wife Katelyn, Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, Cliff Daniels and the rest of his family, as he cites hard times over the past year that made him a better person.

A late bump-and-run enabled NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Chandler Smith to win Sunday’s 54th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

Smith, recently confirmed for a second Truck Series season with Kyle Busch Motorsports, took the lead by moving Derek Thorn up the track on a restart with 13 laps to go in the 300-lap event.

Hours after taking the checkered flag, Smith was confirmed as winner shortly before 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday night after his Donnie Wilson Motorsports entry cleared post-race technical inspection.

Thorn, who started on the pole, had been in command of the Derby until Smith’s bump-and-run. After finishing runner-up at the Derby for the second consecutive year, Thorn showed his displeasure by blocking Smith from celebrating down the front stretch according to the Pensacola News Journal.

Cole Butcher, NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece, and Sammy Smith completed the top five finishers.

Other NASCAR national series notables in the field included:

  • Carson Hocevar (Truck Series) - Finished 7th
  • Erik Jones (Cup Series) - Finished 10th
  • Grant Enfinger (Truck Series) - Finished 19th
  • Derek Kraus (Truck Series) - Finished 20th

Rich Bickle, a five-time Derby winner (event record) and veteran of 218 NASCAR national series starts, closed out his competitive racing career Sunday. A happy ending was not to be, however. Bickle was swept up in a multi-car crash on an early restart and finished 31st.