Chase Elliott wins Snowball Derby Pole

Chris Owens

In addition to his 2011 Snowball Derby victory, two Snowflake 100 wins, Chase Elliott now has his first pole position in the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing.

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Chase Elliott added to his Late Model trophy case on Friday night, winning the pole position for Sunday's 46th Annual Snowball Derby.

With Elliott and Bubba Pollard scheduled to time trial near the end of the session on Friday night, there was a sense of inevitability that they would be the two most likely to score the fastest time.

Defending Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric was the first to qualify and held on to the provisional pole for a remarkable 48 cars until Pollard moved to the top of the charts. But Pollard's glory was short-lived as Elliott -- with the coveted final qualifying spot -- broke the track record with a 16.133 and took his first-career pole position in the prestigious race.

Elliott won the 2011 Snowball Derby but his previous best qualifying effort was fifth last December.

"I didn't think it would be that fast," Elliott said. "I knew we could have a good lap, but I never thought it'd be that quick. I'm just proud of the guys for that lap and now we can just focus on Sunday. That's the main thing. I'm exciting about the lap, but it's just a starting spot."

While most of the attention was rightfully placed on the first two rows -- Elliott, Pollard, John Hunter Nemechek and Hemric -- it's worth noting that time trials only locked in 33 of the 58 entrants on Friday. The remaining four positions will be determined on Saturday afternoon in a last chance qualifier.

The 50-lap last chance race is arguably the most star-studded of its kind, featuring ARCA Series runner-up Mason Mingus, NASCAR drivers Cale Gale, Dakoda Armstrong and others.

"This may be the first time that I miss a race," Gale said. "We just struggled with it all day. We tested here last week and thought we had speed but we're going to have to race our way in now."

The complete Snowball Derby qualifying results can be found below. Drivers listed in boldface are locked-in either on time or via a provisional.

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Bubba Pollard
  3. John Hunter Nemechek
  4. Daniel Hemric
  5. Augie Grill
  6. Casey Smith
  7. Austin Theriault
  8. David Ragan
  9. Zak Hausler
  10. Grant Enfinger
  11. Ross Kenseth
  12. Erik Jones
  13. Stephen Nasse
  14. Kyle Benjamin
  15. Paul Shafer Jr.
  16. Ben Kennedy
  17. Chad Finley
  18. T.J. Reaid
  19. Preston Peltier
  20. Hunter Robbins
  21. Mason Massey
  22. Derek Thorn
  23. Johanna Long
  24. Spencer Davis
  25. Boris Jurkovic
  26. Jeremy Pate
  27. Mike Garvey
  28. Logan Boyett
  29. Landon Cassill
  30. Anderson Bowen
  31. Donnie Wilson
  32. Mason Mingus
  33. Clay Rogers
  34. D.J. VanderLey
  35. David Rogers
  36. Kyle Bryant
  37. Brady Boswell
  38. Alex Labbe
  39. Dwayne Buggay
  40. Mark Kraus
  41. Josh Hamner
  42. Dalton Grindle
  43. Kyle Grissom
  44. Chris Wimmer
  45. Lonnie Somerville
  46. Chris Davidson
  47. Nathan Davis
  48. D.J. Shaw
  49. Jeff Fultz
  50. Junior Niedecken
  51. Cale Gale
  52. Jerry Artuso
  53. Dakoda Armstrong
  54. Allen Karnes
  55. Cole Powell
  56. Tim Martin
  57. Steve Dorer
  58. Dennis Schoenfeld

Continuing coverage of the Snowball Derby can be found on the Ranting and Raving short track blog. Visit our Facebook page for all the updates and links to our stories leading up to the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing.

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