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William Byron leads stout NASCAR contingent at Snowball Derby

Byron, who led the Cup Series in wins this season (six) and made his first appearance in the Championship 4, is among the 53 entries so far for next weekend’s prestigious Super Late Model event.

The 300-lap 56th annual Snowball Derby is scheduled for Dec. 1-3 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., a half-mile paved oval track.

Byron, who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was the youngest of the Championship 4 drivers at 25 years old and with his first opportunity to win a title.

He won the pole for the season finale at Phoenix, led 63 laps but ended up fourth in the race and third among the Championship 4 contenders as Ryan Blaney won his first series title.

Byron has competed in the Snowball Derby before, with a best finish of eighth in 2015.

Other drivers with Cup experience who are entered in the event include Erik Jones, who competes for Legacy Motor Club; Carson Hocevar, who will compete in 2024 with Spire Motorsports; Ryan Preece, who drives for Stewart-Haas Racing; and Noah Gragson, who has yet to secure a ride for next season.

Among the other NASCAR regulars who have entered the event are William Sawalich, Derek Kraus, Sammy Smith, Jake Garcia, Ty Majeski and Connor Jones. Treyten Lapcevich, the 2023 NASCAR Canada Series champion, is also entered.

Two-time ARCA West champion Derek Thorn won the event last season, Chandler Smith in 2021, Majeski in 2020, Gragson in 2018 and Jones is a two-time winner (2012 and 2013).

Past Snowball Derby Winners

1968 Wayne Niedecken

1969 Friday Hassler

1970 Wayne Niedecken

1971 Dickie Davis

1972 Ed Howe

1973 Dickie Davis

1974 Pete Hamilton

1975 Donnie Allison

1976 Darrell Waltrip

1977 Ronnie Sanders

1978 Dave Mader III

1979 Freddy Fryar

1980 Gary Balough

1981 Freddy Fryar

1982 Gene Morgan

1983 Mickey Gibbs

1984 Butch Lindley

1985 Jody Ridley

1986 Gary Balough

1987 Butch Miller

1988 Ted Musgrave

1989 Rick Crawford

1990 Rich Bickle Jr

1991 Rich Bickle Jr

1992 Gary St Amant

1993 Bobby Gill

1994 Tammy Jo Kirk

1995 Jeff Purvis

1996 Rich Bickle Jr

1997 Bobby Gill

1998 Rich Bickle Jr

1999 Rich Bickle Jr

2000 Gary St Amant

2001 Wayne Anderson

2002 Ricky Turner

2003 Charlie Bradberry

2004 Steven Wallace

2005 Eddie Mercer

2006 Clay Rogers

2007 Augie Grill

2008 Augie Grill

2009 Kyle Busch

2010 Johanna Long

2011 Chase Elliott

2012 Erik Jones

2013 Erik Jones

2014 John Hunter Nemechek

2015 Chase Elliott

2016 Christian Eckes

2017 Kyle Busch

2018 Noah Gragson

2019 Travis Braden

2020 Ty Majeski

2021 Chandler Smith

2022 Derek Thorn

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