Written by Zach Davis
Sunday, 02 December 2012 21:55
With an overflow crowd looking on, sixteen-year-old Erik Jones held off NASCAR star Kyle Busch and Jeff Choquette to win the 2012 Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway Sunday afternoon.
The Michigan teenager scored the biggest win of his career in his first attempt in one of America’s most prestigious short track races.
“I can’t believe it, I can’t even believe it,” Jones said in Victory Lane.
Jones led a race-high 123 laps of the wreck-marred 300-lap race with Busch out front three times for 14 laps.
Busch ruffled some feathers after spinning former employee T.J. Reaid out of the lead on lap 158. Reaid’s spin collected Ross Kenseth and defending race winner Chase Elliott, who went on to finish fifth in a heavily damaged car.
“The only thing I’d do different is I’d tell Kyle Busch to not come down here and race with us,” Elliott said after congratulating Jones in Victory Lane. “He needs to show respect to all drivers.”
Security personnel were called in when Reaid approached Busch after the race.
“I guess he got pissed off I got him on the restart,” Reaid said. “Typical him, he’s gonna cry.”
Busch was sent to the rear of the 37-car field then made his way back to the front, battling Jones over the final 20 laps before Jones pulled away with two to go. Choquette got by Busch on the final lap to take second.
Another incident involved NASCAR drivers Steve Wallace, Nelson Piquet, Jr. and Johanna Long with Piquet, Jr. delivering off-color comments afterwards. Long, the 2010 Snowball Derby winner, continued on to a 14th-place finish.
2012 Snowball Derby Race Results
1. Erik Jones
2. Jeff Choquette
3. Kyle Busch
4. Jeff Fultz
5. Chase Elliott
6. Grant Enfinger
7. Kyle Benjamin
8. David Ragan
9. Chris Davidson
10.John Hunter Nemechek
17.Chuck Barnes, Jr.
28.Nelson Piquet, Jr.
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