Son of NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek takes 47th running of the late model classic.
It's hard to say John Hunter is all grown up by society's standards, but by racing standards, he's standing tall. The part-time competitor in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series won the 47th Annual Snowball Derby for pavement late model cars at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. And he had to beat some experienced veterans, and some other young up-and-coming drivers, to do it.
The veterans included past winners like Augie Grill, who finished eighth; David Rogers, who finished 21st, and Mike Garvey, who finished last in the 37-car field.
Among the fast younger drivers was NASCAR Nationwide champ Chase Elliott, who finished 29th; Erik Jones, who finished 27th; Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR's Matt Kenseth, who finished 35th, and Corey LaJoie, son of former NASCAR Nationwide champ Randy LaJoie, who came in 13th. Local favorite and past winner Johanna Long was 17th. She started second, next to her boyfriend, pole-winning Hunter Robbins.
John Hunter, named for his late uncle, who was killed in a NASCAR truck race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, led for 68 laps, beating out second-place Dalton Sargeant, Derek Thorn, Hunter Robbins, and in fifth, ARCA champ Grant Enfinger.
Nemechek also finished second in the rain-delayed preliminary race, the Snowflake 100, which wasn't completed until at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning due to rain. Late model specialist Bubba Pollard won that race, and finished 30th in the Snowball.