Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chase Purdy Wins Wet and Wild Snowflake 100

Chase Purdy in victory lane at the Snowflake 100. (PixelatedSPEED Photo)

Chase Purdy, the 19-year old from Meridian, Mississippi, won the 20th Annual Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on Sunday, December 9th, 2018.

The start of the race was delayed multiple times due to bad weather, a common theme in this year’s Derby. Once the race was underway, a slew of multi-car accidents stunted the pace of the event. Bubba Pollard and Casey Roderick led the early laps, but Purdy took the lead on lap 36 of the 100 lap event, and never looked back.

“A lot of guys took off early,” Purdy told “I let them go and do their own thing for a little bit. Once I got control of the race and was the leader, I controlled the pace and I knew I could keep a faster pace. That’s what I did. With about 20 to go, I just pulled the trigger.”

This was Purdy’s first win in Pensacola, coming at time with his future up in the air.

“It’s surreal,” Purdy said to PixelatedSPEED following the race. “I don’t know what I’m going to be doing next year, but this is going to a huge factor in those decisions. If this is my last race, then what a way to go out.”

In a race that saw a deluge of crashes in its first half, Purdy credits his team, and spotter, for helping him get the win. When asked what it took to make it through the chaos of the weather conditions, and carnage, he said that it was about staying sane mentally, and hard work.

“I’m really proud of my Anthony Campi Racing guys,” he said. “It’s just a really cool moment for me and really glad these guys got this. It’s really big for me and the team.”

“Shout out to Brandon Lines. He’s kind of the whole package. He’s more than just a spotter, he’s a coach and did a hell of a job tonight.”

When asked why he races at Five Flags, with a smile from ear to ear, Purdy replied, “I love this place.”

“I think this place is awesome,” he continued. “It’s a great venue. It’s a big show. Everybody knows what the Snowball Derby is and the Snowflake is a huge event too, and it’s just really awesome to be here.”

“I learned a lot,” he added. “I got to race with some of the best of the best. It’s a really cool moment for me and all the guys. I love this place.”

This edition of the Snowflake 100 had some pretty big firsts. For the first time in event history, weather forced the postponement of the race from its traditional date on the Saturday before the Snowball Derby. Moving forward one week, the race was again postponed; from Saturday to Sunday - marking the first time that the Flake would be run on a Sunday.

Most of the teams returned to the Panhandle on Sunday to contest the most prestigious Pro Late Model race in the country. Some notables that did not make the trip back included Derek Thorn, Jeff Choquette, Stephen Nasse, and Corey Heim.

The Modifieds of Mayhem started the day’s racing action. The caution-filled feature was cut four laps short of the scheduled 75 lap distance after a violent crash involving Billy Melvin and Jason Morman. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with injuries, with Melvin suffering from multiple broken bones requiring multiple surgeries. Augie Grill was credited with the win in the Modified feature after having the dominant car in that race.

After the Modified’s race, the mist rolled into Pensacola, ultimately scrubbing Snowflake 100 qualifying, causing the field to be set by the practice session held earlier in the day; this put Connor Orkresik on the pole.

The mist lingered the entire evening, causing caution periods to be extended in an effort to keep the track in a raceable condition. The uncertainty brought by the weather, also brought an added element of haste by many drivers further back in the field as the threat of a shortened race also shortened their patience.

That lack of patience resulted in a lot of torn up race cars, leaving many drivers angry; some even in tears.

The first half of the race had eight cautions, which led to only 12 of the 31 car field finishing the event.

Ironically, the Pro Truck feature closed the night by going flag-to-flag, caution free. Josh Hicks passed polesitter Steven Davis on lap 47 of the 50 lap race to pick up the win.

Official Results of the 20th Annual Snowflake 100:

  1. Chase Purdy
  2. Bubba Pollard
  3. Connor Okrzesik
  4. Carson Hocevar
  5. Chris Davidson
  6. Casey Roderick
  7. Ryan Paul
  8. Johanna Long
  9. JoJo Wilkinson
  10. Jake Garcia
  11. Trever McCoy
  12. Kyle Ivey
  13. Brandon Curren
  14. Augie Grill
  15. Tyler Porter
  16. Stacey Crain
  17. Spencer Davis
  18. Mason Diaz
  19. Dillon Oliver
  20. Justin South
  21. Mason Keller
  22. Perry Patino
  23. Dylan Smith
  24. Jackson Boone
  25. Dylan Fetcho
  26. Martin Latulippe
  27. Colt James
  28. Bobby Knox Jr.
  29. Jarrett Parker
  30. Elliott Massey
  31. Ryan Worsham

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