Going into the 2021 World Series of Asphalt, there had been 19 different Super Late Model points champions in the previous 19 years, without a single repeat champion. New Hampshire driver Derek Griffith had something to say about that.
The driver from Hudson, New Hampshire won three of the seven races held during the week, matching Bubba Pollard’s mark when he won the title in 2019. With a ninth-place result in the Orange Blossom 100, he closed out the series with his second consecutive World Series title, becoming the first driver to go back-to-back since Pete Orr did so in 1993-1994.
“It means the world, we worked our butts off. We’re a small team from New Hampshire, to come down here and get a couple race wins and a championship consecutively just means the world,” Griffith said on the NBC Trackpass broadcast. “I’ve been coming down here a long time and we’ve had a lot of not very good runs.”
His worst run of the week came Saturday night when he finished ninth, but a commanding points lead paired with a smaller field compared to the rest of the week meant he had all but wrapped up the title. The race concluded an eventful day for Griffith, who also took part in the ARCA Menards Series season opener just up the road at Daytona International Speedway.
“I think this was the worst run we’ve had all week, unfortunately. It’s all my fault, I drove it right into the fence on the frontstretch outside of someone. We had a good race car and we’re looking forward to whatever else we do this year.”
In what was one of the strongest fields of Super Late Model competitors the World Series had seen in recent years, Griffith made a statement over the nine nights of the World Series. Now with two World Series championships and a top-10 run in the Snowball Derby, he has established himself as one of the top Super Late Model racers in America.
“I think that we’re a really good team here in the Super Late Model program. I know the guys all around us like (Stephen) Nasse and Bubba (Pollard), some of these guys have won the biggest races in the country multiple times. To race with those guys all week and to beat them a couple times, it means the world. It’s such an honor to carry the colors of all my friends back home, my family, just happy to be here.”
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-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51/Will Bellamy