The Modifieds of Mayhem finale appeared to be over once former Southern Super Series champion Casey Smith took the lead from Derrick Griffin on a restart with 20 to go. However, Griffin would have something else to say.
After leading the first 55 laps, the former ARCA/CRA Super Series champion wrestled the lead back from Smith coming to seven to go and walked away with the win to conclude Country Pleasin’ Sausage Pole Night at Five Flags Speedway.
Ten cautions and a break to refuel made the 75-lap event a battle of attrition. Griffin wasn’t sure what he could do to get by Smith after losing the lead.
“I wasn’t sure what I had left there at the end with Casey playing games on the restarts,” Griffin said on the Speed51.TV broadcast. “He got one over on me and I wasn’t sure how much right rear he had left versus how much right rear I had left.”
Born in South Bend, Indiana and now calling Pensacola home, Friday night’s win marked the first-career Five Flags win for Griffin. It was a good night for DG Performance, who also won the Modifieds of Mayhem championship with Kyle Purvis.
After finishing second to Purvis at the Run For The Gun 50 during Winchester 400 weekend, Griffin joked about finally getting one over his good friend.
“It’s been a long time coming. It’s surely nice to finally beat Kyle Purvis for once, he goes everywhere in the country and puts it on them. It’s pretty cool to have him win the championship and we were able to get the win here, that’s awesome.”
A fourth-place result would be good enough to give Purvis the Modifieds of Mayhem Tour championship after winning at Five Flags, Montgomery and Crisp Motorsports Park during the year. It is the third-straight year he has won a championship, following two consecutive I-CAR All-Star Modified Tour titles in the Midwest.
With Modified racing in the Midwest being all but non-existent in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Ohio driver made the decision to head south to race.
“Earlier in the year we weren’t racing up north and we live in Ohio. We wanted to race so we came down and ran the Modified tour,” Purvis said. “We enjoy racing down here, it’s really good competition and we enjoy all the tracks down here.”
Purvis entered the finale behind Scooter Bates in the standings by a slim margin, but he was able to overcome it after Bates’s race ended prematurely after a wreck.
“I couldn’t see who was in the wreck because of all the safety trucks and stuff around. My spotter told me it was them and we were going to be the champion.”
Race fans unable to attend the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby can watch the entire weekend’s action on Speed51.TV, including Saturday night’s Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100. Click here to order your video ticket today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo