A disqualification gave Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Erik Jones the opportunity to hoist the Snowball Derby champion trophy Sunday night.
A post-race inspection found that race-winner Chase Elliott’s team used tungsten which is illegal in Super Late Model competition. The illegal weight cost Elliott the trophy and it was instead awarded to second place finisher Erik Jones.
Jones was the defending champion going into Sunday’s 300 lap race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
This consecutive win puts Jones in an elite group. Rich Bickle, Augie Grill and now Jones are the only drivers to ever win back-to-back Snowball Derby races in the 46 years the race has been in existence.
“A win is a win so we will take it,” Jones said. “Sometimes it plays out like this, we all come to the Derby knowing about the Room of Doom and everyone has to pass through it. Getting back-to-back wins at the Derby is really special to not only myself but to Kyle Busch Motorsports, James Finch and everyone at Phoenix Construction. It’s extremely hard to do such a thing and really puts a nice seal on the 2013 season.”
Jones drove the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Toyota Camry in the event. He started 12th and was able to get into the top ten by the time the first competition caution flag flew. He moved into the top five by the end of the race and was able to keep the fifth place position after the last pit stop. Jones got into the second position with four fresh tires. Jones would finish in the second spot, but due to Elliott’s disqualification, Jones was officially named the winner for the second year in a row.
The 2013 season was one to remember for Jones. He not only won the Snowball Derby, he won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, an ARCA Racing series race, and the Super Late Model Winchester 400.