PENSACOLA, Florida (December 8, 2019) — Saturday night’s 21st running of the Snowflake 100 was a battle fought just shy of the three quarter mark. After passing pole sitter Augie Grill on lap 65, California’s Derek Thorn pulled away and maintained a lead resulting in victory; a perfect primer for the 52nd Snowball Derby pole sitter going into Sunday.
Augie Grill started from the pole and kept the lead, trudging through caution, after caution… and three red flags, until leaving the door open late, giving Thorn his opportunity.
“I just wanted to get going green,” said second place Grill. “I’m sure Derek and Bubba where the same way. I think we had about even cars, I just needed to be in front of him, not behind him.”
“He caught me sleeping on that restart and got under me on the back straightaway,” said Grill. “I was a little surprised and then Bubba got by and then we had another caution and I took too long to get back by Bubba and just wasn’t able to get back to him.”
Thorn took full advantage of the opportunity afforded by Grill after having a less than stellar car to work with in his eyes.
“I was just winging it, to be honest,” said Thorn. “Augie and Pollard are both phenomenal here, so just try to go to school and learn what you can… ride while they’re ridin’ because obviously they know more than I do.”
“Tried to stay at pace with the two of them, and just kind of save there until the end,” he continued. “Augie left me a hole getting into three, I got a good run on the backstretch and I was able to get underneath them and get him out of the way just a little bit.
“The car was really good at the end,” he added. “It wasn’t really all that good in the mid portion of the race, and I was kind of worried there we wouldn’t have what we needed at the end, but man it was handling well there at the end of the race.”
Sammy Smith emerged from the chaos to take third place, driving for the same team that won this event last year.
“Before the red flag (not sure which one) I thought we were really good,” said Smith. “We struggled with short runs, and everytime we had a restart it was just tight and it took about seven laps to get it going.”
“We just kept fighting until the end, then we had that long green flag run and we were pretty good,” he added.
Of all the yellows that flew on this night, perhaps one was more significant than the others.
On lap 54, Jarrett Parker and Justin Bonnett made heavy contact in turn three after Parker lost his ability to brake. The crash was so hard that Parker’s fuel cell was ripped away from the car, and ruptured.
The area around the incident burst into flames, partially engulfing the Bonnett car in the process. Bonnett received a broken leg and burns from the crash.
A statement released by the Bonnett family reads:
“Justin has sustained a broken leg and burns and is being treated as I type this. Thank you to everyone who helped extinguish the fire and help get him out of the car.”
Although shaken, Parker was unharmed in the crash.
Results – 21st Annual Allen Turner Snowflake 100:
1 43T Derek Thorn
2 112G Augie Grill
3 81 Sammy Smith
4 43S Justin South
5 51S Stephen Nasse
6 26 Bubba Pollard
7 7 Jackson Boone
8 22 Brandon Oakley
9 15 Jake Johnson
10 4P Kyle Plott
11 50 Jett Noland
12 12L Dan Leeck
13 43D Daniel Dye
14 24 Mason Diaz
15 33 Dustin Smith
16 5 Rodrigo Rejon
17 88M Trever McCoy
18 88G Jake Griffin
19 11M Kyle McCallum
20 29H Chris Hacker
21 18 Ryan Paul
22 29K Mason Keller
23 89 Dylan Fetcho
24 14H Carson Hocevar
25 112M Mike Garvey
26 1 Wayne Anderson
27 11W JoJo Wilkinson
28 11C Stacey Crain
29 46 Jarrett Parker
30 12B Justin Bonnett
31 51P Perry Patino
32 00 Brandon Curren
33 14C Connor Okrzesik
34 59 Billy Melvin
35 4M Elliott Massey
36 58 Cody Brake
37 11B Jacob Beasock
– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining
PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been going “Beyond the Headline” Since 2018. If you’ve made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Media Network. Copyright – 2018, 2019