When it comes to the Super Late Model/Pro Stock drivers of the Northeast, perhaps the most talked about in 2020 is that of Derek Griffith. While the Hudson, NH young gun has continued to build a name for himself across the U.S., competing in the ARCA Menards Series with Chad Bryant Racing, his Super Late Model agenda is still on a front burner.
Up next, the Northeast’s biggest, richest, and toughest race, the Oxford 250 is this coming weekend, a race and a racetrack, Oxford Plains Speedway, that has been a thorn in Griffith’s side since going Super Late Model racing in 2014. However, that thorn appeared to come loose in 2019 with a runner-up performance in the Oxford 250 leading to a Pro All Stars Series 150-lap victory in September.
Through the dedication of the LCM Motorsports 12G crew and Griffith’s personal growth as a driver, he feels that the pieces to running Oxford well are finally falling into place.
“I think it’s a few things. We did figure out some stuff at the track, I’ve been trying to figure the place out since 2014 the first time we raced there. The crazy part is we’ve won weekly shows there and finished really good in them, but we’ve been awful in 150-lap PASS points races and the Oxford 250. It has just been such a struggle there for years,” Said Griffith on ‘The Bullring’ on Monday.
Despite the turnaround in the past year at the Maine oval, Griffith still hasn’t declared any sort of love for Oxford just yet.
“We worked towards where we are at now. I would still prefer to race at a couple of other places, but I say that, and then I watch videos after or watch other races in the stands there, and I really understand why that place is the way it is. The racing there is unbelievable to watch, three and four wide, side by side the whole race. It’s a cool racetrack.”
With consistent finishes the past weeks at Oxford, Griffith can’t help but feel just a little confident.
“Going into the 250, you got to have confidence with the podium and runner-up runs we’ve had this year. Last year we finally got that first PASS win there too. We got a good combo setup there now, and I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Even with Griffith’s promise this August, he has not been the most successful driver to take on Oxford recently, and that’s something he’s just fine with.
“I’m kind of sliding under the radar coming into this race, we’ve run good there, and we’ve been okay. But there’s some guys with a target on their back and are rolling in with people thinking that they’re the guy to beat,” explained Griffith.
“I don’t consider myself one of those guys, I don’t think a lot people do either, so it kind of takes some of the pressure off. Look at Dave Farrington who’s been on a roll lately, I can only imagine the pressure he’s under. Same with Ben Ashline who said he wasn’t going to sleep this week. I’m just ready to get going here, very excited.”
See who will claim the 47th Oxford 250 this weekend August 28-30, as Speed51 will broadcast all three days of racing action. Also, follow Speed51.com for updates and stories from practice, prerace, and more.
For the entire interview with Derek Griffith, check out a replay of this week’s episode of ‘The Bullring’.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51