Update: 2:00 p.m. ET: Additional drivers have pulled out of the Last Chance Race, including Dwayne Buggay, Nathan Davis, Dalton Grindle, Cole Powell, Tim martin, Steve Dorer, Dennis Schoenfeld.
Update: 11:45 a.m. ET: DJ VanderLey has withdrawn from the last chance race. He gives up the outside pole for the qualifier and the changes have been reflected in the starting lineup below.
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Some of the drivers expected to compete for the Snowball Derby pole were way down in the charts on Friday night, including ARCA Racing Series championship runner-up Mason Mingus, DJ VanderLey, David Rogers, Cale Gale, Dakoda Armstrong and Chris Wimmer.
Clay Rogers is the 2006 winner of the race and was able to use a past champion's provisional, as was Donnie Wilson and Chris Davidson for their success in the Southern Super Series and Pensacola track championship standings respectively. Meanwhile, that leaves 24 cars to race for the final four spots in Saturday's Last Chance Race.
Mingus was the 32nd place qualifier and will start the Last Chance Race from the pole with VanderLey, the 2011 Derby runner-up to his outside. Only the top-four finishers from that race will make the final Snowball Derby field.
Mingus appeared to be a threat for the pole after posting the fastest time in Saturday's open test session but will have to race his way into the main event on Saturday afternoon. This is the third year in a row that he's been in this position after missing the race in 2011 and 2012.
Mingus was hard at work on his team's car after qualifying but posted the following messages on his Twitter account.
We missed the race by 2 spots. I will start on the front row of the last chance race. Not what we wanted but we aren't giving up— Mason Mingus (@Mason_Mingus) December 7, 2013
We are working hard tonight. It's going to be a late one but we will get in the show even if we have to race our way in.— Mason Mingus (@Mason_Mingus) December 7, 2013
With just 50 laps on the board to get into a transfer spot, the racing promises to be chaotic with plentiful contact in the middle of the pack. The race is expected to be so turbulent that one driver outside of the top-30, Gale, is worried that he may miss a race for the first time in his career.
"We just struggled with it all day," the former NASCAR Truck Series winner said after qualifying on Friday night. "We tested here last week and thought we had speed but we're going to have to race our way in now."
The same can be said for 24 other drivers too.
Here is the starting lineup for Saturday's last chance qualifier (Speed51.com radio; Time TBD):
- Mason Mingus
- David Rogers
- Kyle Bryant
- Brady Boswell
- Alex Labbe
- Mark Kraus
- Josh Hamner
- Kyle Grissom
- Chris Wimmer
- Lonnie Sommerville
- D.J. Shaw
- Jeff Fultz
- Junior Niedecken
- Cale Gale
- Jerry Artuso
- Dakoda Armstrong
- Allen Karnes