At long last, it is race day for the 54th Annual Snowball Derby presented by Hooters. Before today's crown jewel event, here are some numbers to know for this year's Derby.
3: On Friday, Derek Thorn secured his third consecutive Snowball Derby pole, a feat never previously accomplished before.
4: With the win a year ago, Ty Majeski scored his fourth career podium finish in the Snowball Derby. One more would time him for fifth-place on the all-time list. Rich Bickle holds the record with eight.
5: There are five former Snowball Derby winning Crew Chiefs in the field. Toby Nuttleman won with Ty Majeski last year, Augie Grill won with Wayne Anderson in 2001, Marcus Richmond won with Noah Gragson, Ricky Turner won with Chase Elliott and Bond Suss won with Kyle Busch in 2008.
5: Speaking of Rich Bickle, who is closing out his career this week: Bickle is the only five-time winner of the Snowball Derby.
6: Ty Majeski has led laps in the last six Snowball Derby races. No other driver has done that in the race's history.
9: Nine times in the last 20 years, the leader with 10 laps to go didn’t win the Snowball Derby.
10: There are 10 drivers making their Snowball Derby debut today - Casey Johnson, Kodie Conner, Jett Noland, Sammy Smith, Jesse Love, Luke Fenhaus, Jeff Storm, Jace Hansen, Brandon Watson and Jake Finch.
12: Jody Ridley holds the record for most top-five finishes in the Snowball Derby with 12. We think that is a safe bet to say it won’t be broken, or at least not for a while.
14: Grant Enfinger, Bubba Pollard and Mike Garvey are all making their 14th start in the Snowball Derby.
20: A total of 20 drivers have led 100 laps in a single Snowball Derby event and failed to win the race. Derek Thorn heads that list with 252 last year. Only eight drivers have led 100 laps or more and then won the race.
300: The race is 300 laps. In years past it has been a 100, 200, 250 and 300 plus the number of years run before finally settling into the 300-lap format.
368: After last year’s dominating performance, Derek Thorn leads all active drivers with 368 laps led at the Snowball Derby. Thorn is in the top 10 all-time and if he reaches 400, he’ll join Eddie Mercer, Bobby Gill, Jeff Purvis, Chase Elliott and Butch Miller as the only other guys to lead 400 laps.
398: Freddie Query holds the record for most laps led by a non-winner at the Snowball Derby. He led more than 100 laps twice and didn’t go to victory lane. He said in an interview years ago with Racing America that the pit crew was the weakest part of his racing at the Derby at a time when live pit stops were part of the race. Most of the races he was doing back in North Carolina, he didn’t need to pit, so he had to gather a group of guys to compete against the big money pit crews.
782: Eddie Mercer is the race's all-time lap leader with 782 laps led.
1968: The first Snowball Derby was run in 1968 and won by Wayne Niedecken.
2005: The last time the winner came from the pole was back in 2005, when Eddie Mercer won the Snowball Derby after his 17th attempt.
25,000: The winner's share of the Snowball Derby is $25,000.