TC Daily Pit Stop: Ty Majeski Wins 2023 Snowball Derby; Smith, Hocevar Eliminated in LCQ; Gragson Triggers Massive Wreck; D'Hondt Not Spotting for Elliott in 2024
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, December 4th, 2023
Unlike in previous years, Ty Majeski wasn’t a dominant force in Sunday’s Snowball Derby, spending the majority of the afternoon running inside the top-five, but patiently waiting for a winning opportunity to fall into his lap.
Then, the race-winning opportunity fell into his lap.
Stephen Nasse and Bubba Pollard got too close while battling for the lead of the race, which resulted in contact, and the No. 51 and No. 26 entries sliding up the track and into the outside wall, paving the way for Majeski to re-take the lead.
With less than 20 laps remaining in the 56th Annual Snowball Derby, the frontstretch of Five Flags Speedway looks like a parking lot, after a multi-car accident on a late-race restart.
The accident began directly behind the race leaders when Noah Gragson missed a shift in his No. 30 Ford for Rette Jones Racing, which began stacking up the vehicles behind, triggering a pileup that collected upwards of 10 drivers.
That poor restart caused a major stack-up, in which Derek Thorn tipped Gragson in front of the entire pack, causing damage to Cole Butcher, and then making major contact with William Byron and Jake Finch, amongst several others.
Both Sammy Smith and Carson Hocevar will not be advancing to the 56th Annual Snowball Derby, after getting together during Sunday’s Last Chance Qualifier at Five Flags Speedway.
The incident occurred with 30 laps remaining in the 50-lap shootout, as Augie Grill, Carson Hocevar, and Sammy Smith all battled for the final two transfer positions. As Hocevar, driving the No. 14, entered the corner, contact was made with Grill, sending both drivers up the racetrack.
Sitting just behind the battle for third, Smith stuck his nose inside of Hocevar, resulting in the two NASCAR stars making contact at the exit of the fourth corner, slamming the No. 22 into the inside wall.
Whether it was mechanical, frustration, or just physics, the contact continued further down the frontstretch, as the drivers continued to beat and bang, further damaging both cars, and their chances at advancing to the main event.
On Saturday evening, Eddie D’Hondt, a longtime spotter in the NASCAR Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports announced that he will no longer serve as the spotter for 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott during the 2024 season.
D’Hondt revealed the end of his tenure with the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team (formerly the No. 24 team) via a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“Been a helluva run.. 12 yrs, 26 wins, 2020 Champs. Thank you to: Mr. Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, Chase Elliott, Alan Gustafson,” The post read. “468 races together, 26 wins & a [championship]. Lastly, my dude Kevin Hamlin (love emoji). A career to many, a wonderful lifetime memory, for us all. Excited for what’s next.”
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