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Derek Thorn dominates for Snowflake 100 win at Five Flags

Photo by Racing America / Speed51

Derek Thorn has been on another planet than everyone else this weekend at the 54th annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

The Bakersfield, California driver led flag-to-flag Saturday night and topped the 35-car Pro Late Model field to capture the Allen Turner Snowflake 100.

It's his second event win in three years. It also marked his second consecutive pole, a feat that hadn't been accomplished. Thorn achieved the same history in Derby qualifying Friday night by winning the pole in back-to-back years. On Sunday, he looks to become the first driver to sweep the weekend in winning both the Snowflake and the Derby.

"Fifteen years ago, this was a figment of my imagination," Thorn said. "The car was phenomenal. Every time we come here, we try to get a little better. To have this car tonight, it's unbelievable."

He had competition for most of the race from Monroe, Georgia's Jake Garcia, but the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series track champion and Southern Super Series champion for Super Late Models settled for second. Colin Allman was steady all night, staying in the top-five, and finishing third.

Thorn earned quite the payday. An anonymous donor earlier Saturday threw in $3,000 to move the winner's purse from $7,000 to $10,000.

"We were doing everything we could to stay out front," Thorn said. "(Garcia) was keeping us honest. Track positioning is big here. And I was doing my best to save tires and keep them in one piece."

There were six cautions and Thorn was perfect on each one. Each time he approached lapped traffic, Thorn deftly maneuvered through the cars in the back.