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Noah Gragson Snowball Derby Journey: Triumph, Spectator, and Resurgence

Noah Gragson Snowball Derby Journey: Noah Gragson, victor of the esteemed event at Five Flags Speedway in 2018, secured his win by overtaking Harrison Burton in a thrilling late-race restart. Just two short years later, he found himself in the stands as a spectator after finishing sixth in a Last Chance Qualifier alongside notable figures like NASCAR champion Chase Elliott, future Snowball Derby winner Chandler Smith, and two-time Derby winner Augie Grill.

These varied encounters have instilled in Gragson an added level of admiration for the Snowball Derby, an event he values year after year.

“Participating in my seventh or eighth Derby, it’s an exhilarating yet demanding week,” expressed Gragson to Racing America. “The track’s evolution throughout the week demands constant attention.

“Initially, I believed I grasped the race’s historical significance after our victory. However, upon my return in 2020—having missed the 2019 race due to a wedding in Mexico and then missing the race in 2020—I was the first one ousted in the B-Main.”

If anything, missing the 2020 race reinforced for Gragson the vibrant atmosphere on Snowball Derby race day.

“Witnessing it from the infield in 2020 was a new experience for me. I parked near the Interstate, trekked a mile and a half to the track that morning, three hours before the green flag. The sheer number of fans and the buzz—my enthusiasm for this race is immense, and I’m thankful for the chance to return.

“While I wasn’t an active participant then, it felt akin to a Cup race from the 1990s. The ambiance was distinct. Initially, I thought I understood the Derby. However, in the year we missed it, observing the dedication and fervor from these fans, strangers turned friends.”

In 2022, Gragson secured a 20th place finish after a commendable top-five qualifying performance. As he gears up for this year’s race, Gragson has dedicated time to rewatching the 2022 broadcast, seeking insights for his pursuit of a second Tom Dawson trophy.

Noah Gragson Snowball Derby Journey (1)

“I’ve invested substantial time and effort preparing for this. I’ve revisited last year’s race four times this week, each night. Adapting to the changing nature of this track is a daily challenge. I’m focused on observing my fellow competitors, learning from their strategies.”

Ultimately, the Snowball Derby remains a significant fixture on Gragson’s calendar. Despite the race’s on-track challenges and intense competition, it’s the vibrant atmosphere and energy encompassing the event that makes it one of the most gratifying weekends of his year.

“Tim Bryant and the crew at Five Flags Speedway execute an exceptional event. It’s a race I hope to attend for years to come. Being here is a privilege, but it’s also incredibly enjoyable—I genuinely relish the experience at Five Flags Speedway.

ALSO READ: Noah Gragson Redemption Road: Transformative Personal Growth

Our Reader’s Queries

What year did Noah Gragson win the Snowball Derby?

In 2018, Gragson emerged victorious in the highly acclaimed Five Flags Speedway event. He skillfully seized the lead from Harrison Burton during a crucial restart, securing his win. This triumph marked a significant milestone in Gragson’s career, showcasing his exceptional talent and determination.

What does the Snowball Derby pay to win?

The purse structure has undergone revolutionary improvements, with the winner now pocketing $35,000, second place receiving $20,000, and third place earning $10,000. These changes have made the competition more lucrative for participants.

Who won the 2023 Snowball Derby?

Sunday evening at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida did not witness a Dale Earnhardt-winning-the-Daytona-500 moment. Bubba Pollard’s wait for that moment will continue for another year. However, the 2023 Snowball Derby was won by Ty Majeski, who secured his second title.

What were the results of the Snowball Derby?

Following the second red-flag of the race to remove debris from the track, Majeski made a strong restart with only seven laps left. Despite facing competition from Gio Ruggiero, who was two laps behind at one point in the race, Majeski emerged victorious in the 56th annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.


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