PENSACOLA, Fla. – Ty Majeski was the class of the field Sunday afternoon (Dec. 3) at Five Flags Speedway, capping a banner 2023 super late model racing campaign with his second career win in the Snowball Derby.
But actually making it to victory lane wasn’t that simple.
What had been a relatively tame Derby feature turned into chaos late. A caution with 25 laps to go that flew after Erik Jones turned Luke Fenhaus saw almost the entire field pit for fresh tires, setting up a shootout among the frontrunners in the closing laps.
The wreck took out a plethora of racecars and sent debris more than 20 feet into the air down the frontstretch. Following cleanup, Majeski, in fact, was warned by race control about jumping the start following that ill-fated restart on lap 282 according to the Racing America broadcast.
That set the stage for a battle that will be talked about for a long time to come. Prevailing over Majeski on the ensuing restart, Stephen Nasse and Bubba Pollard stormed to the front of the field and proceeded to put on a blistering display of side-by-side racing, easily the most intense exchange seen at Five Flags on Sunday. The two, veteran drivers with no love lost between them gave no quarter in battling for what would be a career-defining crown jewel for both.
That aggression bit them both on lap 295, when contact sent both drivers spinning while battling for the lead.
While the end of the pitched battle between the two sent the grandstands into a frenzy, the race remained yet to be resolved. And while eventual runner-up Giovanni Ruggiero did everything he could to challenge Majeski on the final start, he had nothing to prevent the 2023 ASA national late model champion from securing his second career Derby trophy.
“That was a hell of a race between a lot of great racecars and great drivers,” said Majeski in victory lane.
As is customary, following celebrations on the frontstretch the top finishing Derby cars were all sent to Five Flags’ infamous tech shed for post-race inspection. Hours after the race’s conclusion, Majeski’s car cleared inspection and the trophy was presented to him for good.
With the win, Majeski, a full-time driver for ThorSport Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, became the 12th multi-time winner of the Snowball Derby.
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