CONCORD, N.C. – The 56th running of the Snowball Derby will see two competitors that are part of the Hendrick Motorsports organization on track and battling for the prestigious short-track Super Late Model win.
William Byron will be entered in the event (in the No. 24) at half-mile Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. This will be his fourth time competing in the Snowball Derby. He finished eighth in 2015, 22nd in 2016 after an accident ended his day and came home sixth in 2022. The just-turned-26-year-old driver is coming off a career season in the NASCAR Cup Series with a series-high six wins and a career-best third-place finish in the final standings after reaching the Championship 4 for the first time in his Cup career.
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"I think it’s great to be around those tracks and bridge the gap between local short-track racing and national stuff," Byron said.
Travis Braden also entered the event (In the No. 21) and won the race in 2019. He is currently a setup mechanic for the No. 48 Ally Racing team of driver Alex Bowman. The Wheeling, West Virginia, native has several major victories in the Super Late Model ranks and he won his debut start in the ARCA Menards Series in 2015 at Indianapolis Raceway Park – besting Byron to take the checkered flag.
GET TO KNOW: Short-track success aids Braden in transition as No. 48 mechanic
Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott won the event twice – in 2011 and 2015 – with his 2011 victory making him the youngest Snowball Derby winner in the event’s history. The Super Late Model Race is considered by many to be the biggest short-track race in the country.
"I just want to win that race," Byron said of the Snowball Derby. "That one’s on my bucket list. I’ve loved racing late models the last couple of years. It has taught me some good things."
In addition to Byron and Braden, this year’s field features 2023 Cup Series drivers Erik Jones, Carson Hocevar, Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece as well as a host of short-track aces and late-model standouts.
Byron will line up 13th, while Braden is 20th on the starting grid.
The 300-lap main event takes place on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT. Fans can find all the coverage of the 2023 Snowball Derby exclusively on Racing America. Click here for more info on the different packages you can subscribe to to catch all the action.