Steven Wallace

@KBMteam Twitter

Noah Gragson wins Snowball Derby for Kyle Busch Motorsports

Leave a comment

Noah Gragson took the lead from Harrison Burton with a handful of laps remaining in the 51st annual Snowball Derby to give Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) back-to-back wins in the prestigious Super Late Model race.

Last year, Kyle Busch scored the victory. 

Ty Majeski held on to finish second ahead of Jeff Choquette. Conor Okrzesik and Casey Roderick rounded out the top five.

It appeared to be Burton’s race to lose. He chased down Majeski with 25 laps remaining and held the top spot for five laps before a caution waved for Kale Bryant’s spin. Most of the leaders pitted under that caution, but Burton chose to stay out on old tires.

Burton faded to 10th in the final rundown.

With 16 laps remaining, Majeski was instrumental in the final caution. He and Bubba Pollard spun after making contact in Turns 1 and 2. The incident put an end to Pollard’s Snowball Derby bid for the 13th time. Pollard finished 11 laps off the pace in 26th. Last year, he finished third. KBM kept their drivers in contention with fast work in the pits and on the track.

On Lap 90, Noah Gragson came in running third and left with the lead. KBM teammate Raphael Lessard came in fifth and left second.

The Snowball Derby started during the day time and ended under the lights for the first time in its history.

When the lights came on about the Lap 175 mark with Choquette, Lessard, Gragson, Pollard, Majeski and Burton were in the top six and they remained in contention until the final laps.

On Lap 213, Majeski took the lead from Choquette just before Stephen Nasse backed hard into the wall. Nasse had charged from the back to challenge for the top 10 by lap 100, but a mistake in the pits cost him a chance at victory.

After the incident, Nasse confronted his pit crew for leaving two tires loose on the last pit stop.

NASCAR Truck series driver Stewart Friesen started 14th, but sustained right front damage on a caution following an early restart. He retired in 34th on Lap 58.

The 2018 K&N East champion Tyler Ankrum started 24th and finished eighth.

Steven Wallace, son of Rusty Wallace, suffered a mechanical failure and stalled on the pace laps of the last chance qualifier. He was unable to continue.

Like father, like son: Ross Kenseth, Matt’s son, wins at Michigan in 3rd career ARCA start

Leave a comment

Ross Kenseth gave father Matt — as in former Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth — an early Father’s Day present on Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

Piloting a Chevrolet owned by veteran racer Ken Schrader, the younger Kenseth earned his first career win in only his third start in the ARCA series, capturing the Corrigan Oil 200.

“Hats off to these guys,” Kenseth said on Fox Sports 2. “It was a lot of fun today. I felt we were alright (on fuel). I’m just real happy to be here.

“This is about a year and a half since my last win in anything. … I’m happy to do my job for them.”

The 22-year-old Kenseth drove the final 62 laps on the same tank of fuel, while others in the 27-driver field such as Grant Enfinger had to pit late in the race to reach the finish line.

As it turned out, Kenseth was able to conserve enough fuel to not only cross the start-finish line, but to also do a celebratory burnout and make it all the way to victory lane.

“It was pretty cool, I’m glad he won it,” proud father Matt said of his son. “He did a great job. Ross has been working particularly hard to get some opportunities.”

In Ross Kenseth’s other two career ARCA starts, he finished third (2014, Kansas) and sixth (2013, Madison).

Coming on the heels of his first ARCA win, Ross Kenseth will make his first Xfinity Series career start next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway during an off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series.

“This is a great weekend for me here and I look forward to spending next weekend with him in Chicago,” Matt Kenseth said.

Ross and Matt are now the fifth father-son pairing to ever win a race at MIS. Others are Dale and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rusty and Steven Wallace, Bobby and Davey Allison and Bob and Brad Keselowski.

Series veteran Frank Kimmel finished second (2.123 seconds behind Kenseth), followed by Austin Wayne Self, Tom Hessert and Matt Kurzejewski.

Sixth through 10th were Josh Williams, David Levine, Grant Enfinger, Sarah Cornett-Ching and Bo Lemastus.

Follow @JerryBonkowski