News and Notes from Practice Day at the 53rd Derby

Ryan Luza is the 2015 Pro Late Model Champion at Five Flags. He is also the fastest car in Snowflake 100 practice as of Thursday. (Eddie Richie/Turn 1 Photos)

PENSACOLA, Florida (December 4, 2020) — Thursday, December 3rd, was practice day at the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby and the order of the day was alternating rounds of Super Late and Pro Late Models on track.

At the end of the day, Derek Thorn found himself at the top of the heap. He posted the best time of the day in the final Snowball Derby practice session, a 16.414 second lap.

“It’s been a good day, both cars have had good speed,” said Thorn. We fixed the car from Nashville and it’s reassuring it’s still as fast as it was. We’re expecting some rain to come through tonight, so tomorrow will be a whole new day, hopefully we can lock ourselves into the show on time and focus on having good long run cars for both races.”

In practice for the 22nd Annual Snowflake 100, Ryan Luza found his way to the top of the board with a stout 16.866 second lap in the Pro Late Model’s final session of the day.

“Fastest in final practice today here at Five Flags Speedway!,” said Luza. “Had some issues in session two but everyone at Jett Motorsports worked hard and got it ironed quickly before we put stickers on. Couple race runs to do tomorrow to make sure the balance is right for Saturday night.”

This year’s Derby has already seen it’s first casualties of war, as both Bob Lyon and Michael House crashed in the day’s first practice session.

For Lyon it marks the third time in 2020 the California native has found the wall in a hard crash at Five Flags. Without a backup car, his Snowball Derby hopes for this year are over. 

For House, the Nashville driver suffered an engine issue just prior to finding the outside wall, ending his Snowball Derby week prematurely as well.

In other news from this Thursday in Pensacola, I’m going to go “” style, and give you a digest of some interesting stories from some of the many media outlets covering the event today.

  • Why NASCAR Cup Champion Chase Elliott Returned to the Snowball Derby:
  • Grant Enfinger and Go Fas Racing Tackle Snowball Derby:
  • Dye is Racing to Save Lives During Snowball Derby:

  • Thompson Breaks Through in Pensacola Pro Trucks:

– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

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PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been going "Beyond the Headline" since 2018”.