PENSACOLA, Fla. – For as much as it’s worth, Ty Majeski paced the opening round of practice for the 51st annual Snowball Derby on Thursday at Five Flags Speedway.

Majeski toured the weathered Florida half-mile in 16.606 seconds (108.395 mph) to lead the 47 super late models in attendance for the crown jewel short-track event.

The Seymour, Wis., driver has never won the Snowball Derby in four prior attempts, those he does have two third-place finishes to his credit in 2016 and 2017.

Asked if leading the first practice session of the week really meant much, Majeski smiled before offering a quiet chuckle in response.

“No, it doesn’t mean a thing,” he said. “The only thing it means is that we have speed in these conditions. This track is going to change so much through the rest of the week that we’re going to have to keep chasing it to get it right. It’s a long race on Sunday and that’s when things really matter.

“We worked on a bunch of little things there. We knew the track would be fast because it’s early and you don’t have all the laps and rubber laid down yet,” Majeski added. “The track will slow down as it gets hotter and the weekend progresses. The car is fast, but it’s early still.”

Crew chief Toby Nuttleman echoed the sentiments of his driver, adding that neither one was content with the No. 91 iRacing.com Ford as of yet despite their position atop the speed charts.

“He’s not happy and I’m not happy,” Nuttleman noted. “We’ve got time, though. It’s a long week yet.”

Young gun Connor Okrzesik was second-fastest (16.645/108.141) in the No. 14, followed by Chase Purdy, Chandler Smith and Logan Boyett.

Casey Roderick, Harrison Burton, Jeff Choquette, John DeAngelis and Derek Thorn completed the top 10.

Perennial Derby favorite Bubba Pollard was 14th-quick in the opening round of practice, while NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Noah Gragson and Tyler Ankrum were 20th and 21st, respectively.

 

FIRST PRACTICE RESULTS: 51st annual Snowball Derby; Five Flags Speedway; Nov. 29, 2018

  1. Ty Majeski, 16.606
  2. Connor Okrzesik, 16.645
  3. Chase Purdy, 16.682
  4. Chandler Smith, 16.682
  5. Logan Boyett, 16.715
  6. Casey Roderick, 16.719
  7. Harrison Burton, 16.721
  8. Jeff Choquette, 16.743
  9. John DeAngelis Jr., 16.743
  10. Derek Thorn, 16.752
  11. Raphael Lessard, 16.753
  12. Kyle Plott, 16.791
  13. Jerry Artuso, 16.795
  14. Bubba Pollard, 16.796
  15. Stewart Friesen, 16.803
  16. Steve Wallace, 16.826
  17. Michael Atwell, 16.829
  18. Chris Davidson, 16.845
  19. Dennis Prunty, 16.849
  20. Noah Gragson, 16.862
  21. Tyler Ankrum, 16.888
  22. Jeremy Doss, 16.914
  23. Austin Nason, 16.921
  24. Paul Shafer Jr., 16.937
  25. Kason Plott, 16.946
  26. Boris Jurkovic, 16.947
  27. Preston Peltier, 16.987
  28. Blaine Perkins, 17.006
  29. Stephen Nasse, 17.007
  30. Mason Diaz, 17.019
  31. Cole Butcher, 17.037
  32. Mason Mingus, 17.044
  33. Jesse Dutilly, 17.060
  34. Derek Kraus, 17.067
  35. Patrick Laperle, 17.074
  36. Donnie Wilson, 17.081
  37. Mason Diaz, 17.086
  38. Kaden Honeycutt, 17.088
  39. Chase Purdy, 17.112
  40. Augie Grill, 17.114
  41. Jack Dossey III, 17.167
  42. Perry Patino, 17.178
  43. Kyle Bryant, 17.189
  44. David Rogers, 17.201
  45. Carson Hocevar, 17.230
  46. Derek Griffith, 17.322
  47. Jan Evans, 17.998