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Snowball Derby shocker: Chase Elliott wins after Christopher Bell DQ’d


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Christopher Bell’s victory in the 48th annual Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Fla., lasted less than 30 minutes.

After taking the checkered flag, Bell, 21, was disqualified after post-race technical inspection at Five Flags Speedway found his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota over the limit of left-side weight.

As a result, runner-up Chase Elliott – who will replace Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2016 – was awarded the victory in the 300-lap Super Late Model race on the half-mile asphalt track. It was Elliott’s second Snowball triumph, having also won there in 2011.

Zane Smith finished second, followed by Ty Majewski, Dalton Sargeant and Bubba Pollard.

According to, the left-side weight ratio is capped at 58 percent. The left-side weight ratio of Bell’s car was measured at 58.3 percent.

“I have no idea, I really don’t,” Bell told “KBM built a great race car and it was fast. I crossed the finish line first.”

Bell’s crew chief Chris Gabehart told that the build up on the left side tires from the victory lap possibly contributed to the weight issue.

It is the fourth time in the last 10 years that the Derby winner has been disqualified.

Elliott can probably feel for Bell, as he went through a similar situation in the 2013 Derby. Elliott took the checkered flag first but was disqualified in post-race inspection.

The win that year then went to Kyle Busch Motorsports driver and 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champ Erik Jones, who also won the 2012 Derby.

Team owner and 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup champ Kyle Busch was not happy with the turn of events, tweeting:



Added Ricky Stenhouse Jr.,



It was the second disqualification of the weekend for Bell, who competed in seven Truck races for Kyle Busch Motorsports this past season, including winning at Eldora Speedway.

Bell, 21, had his top qualifying effort on Friday disqualified in inspection afterward. He had to start Saturday’s 50-lap “last-chance” qualifying race to regain a spot in the Derby, and did it in convincing fashion. Starting from the back of the 27-car pack, he won to move on to Sunday’s main event.

Bell led an event-high 91 laps, taking the lead the first time on Lap 201 and regained it from defending Snowball Derby champ John Hunter Nemechek on Lap 283, holding on for the final 17 laps to take the checkered flag.

Nemechek, who captured Saturday night’s Snowflake 100, had a good chance to repeat in Sunday’s event. But with 25 laps to go, Nemechek’s Chevrolet began to show smoke from what appeared to be a tire rub that led to a flat right front.

He brought his car to pit road with five laps remaining – spinning in the process – only to see his car erupt into flames. Nemechek scrambled from the burning ride and was uninjured. Nemechek finished 21st in the 37-car field.

OFFICIAL Snowball Derby Results
Presented by Racecar Engineering (courtesy of and

129Chase Elliott3003running
21977Zane Smith30040running
3191Ty Majeski30063running
445SDalton Sargeant3000running
51826Bubba Pollard3000running
63599Casey Smith3000running
7348Preston Peltier3000running
8159BWilliam Byron3000running
91243Derek Thorn3000running
10115HDaniel Hemric3000running
11103Kaz Grala3000running
122817Quin Houff3000running
13511Logan Boyett3000running
14307Corey LaJoie2990running
152767Clay Jones2990running
163313Cassius Clark2980running
17175Jerry Artuso2970running
183429Caleb Adrian2960running
192383Scotty Ellis2950running
20721Johanna Long2950running
21378John Hunter Nemechek2940fire
223215Christian Eckes2910running
23212WDonnie Wilson2730crash
24209KDerek Kraus2700crash
25298GNoah Gragson2690crash
262412Harrison Burton2140suspension
27851NStephen Nasse1900mechanical
2867Casey Roderick1750crash
292245Kyle Plott1670crash
30162D.J. VanderLey1650mechanical
312642Chad Finley1400engine
32361Garrett Jones1370mechanical
331431Kyle Grissom630crash
3413112Augie Grill630crash
3525H2Bret Holmes620crash
36920Spencer Davis290mechanical
373151BChristopher Bell30093running/DQ

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