Griffith Continues Chase for Second PASS National Title at Thompson

After winning a second-straight Florida Speedweeks Super Late Model title at New Smryna Speedway in February, most assumed that would be the only title hunting Derek Griffith would do in 2021, as he and LCM Motorsports had gone to a “pick and choose” schedule not focusing on any one series title.

WATCH LIVE: Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway

However, the dusty old road has carried Griffith to all of the races on the Pro All Stars Series National Championship so far this season. The Easter Bunny Twin 150’s at Hickory Motor Speedway, Northeast Classic at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bay State Summer Classic at Seekonk Speedway, Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway, and Milk Bowl Prelude Race at Thunder Road formed the beginning and middle of the PASS National trail.


Now, just two races remain for the PASS National title, and next up is 75 laps on Sunoco World Series weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.


Twice Griffith has been a victor at Thompson, with the most recent being this past April in the PASS North season opener. Along with his 2018 win, both have come on Icebreaker weekend at “The Big T”, and the Hudson, NH native is looking for a win in the fall at the old Connecticut oval.


“It seems like Thompson has just become one of those tracks that we run well at. I’m pumped to get back there and hopefully get another win. I’ve never won a World Series race, we haven’t raced as much there in the fall. I’d love one of those cool trophies with the jersey, or a baseball bat, whatever it ends up being. I want one,” Griffith told Speed51.


After sweeping the two races at Hickory in April, Griffith has stayed consistent in the proceeding four PASS National points races. Finishes of ninth at Loudon, fifth at Seekonk, third in the Oxford 250, and fourth one week ago at Thunder Road have Griffith leading by 60 points over DJ Shaw heading into Twisted Tea World Series Saturday, with the 2018 PASS National champion trying to get a tighter grip on the points lead heading into the season ending Haunted Hundred at Seekonk Speedway on October 23.

We didn’t necessarily plan on running all those races to begin with, we just ran the races we wanted to run. It just played out the way it did. We had those wins at Hickory, we ran good at the Oxford 250, and Thunder Road we ran alright too. It turned into a good National season for us, we just need to close it out right.

Griffith has seven Super Late Model wins to his name in 2021, with the first six coming early in the season. The No. 12G camp did celebrate their first ever victory at Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania during the track’s Motor Mountain Masters event in August. But, there has been plenty of adventure this season for Griffith, who also made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with Kyle Busch Motorsports in August at Worldwide Technology Raceway.


He even made his first start in a Tour-type Modified this past Saturday night in the No. 25 for Gary Casella at Lee USA Speedway during the Modified Racing Series season finale.


Overall, the 2021 Short Track Draft #1 pick feels that there’s been a lot to be proud of.


“One thing we wanted to do this year was get out of our comfort zone. Although we haven’t knocked off a ton of wins, we’ve had some good runs. We finished second at Berlin, fourth in the Rattler, a couple of these other big races we’ve been in there in the Top 5. It’s been really cool to see where we can excel and where we can improve a little bit better. Hopefully we can finish off the year just as strong, and with some wins.”


After the World Series, Griffith is far from done in 2021 with two of the Super Late Model crown jewel races on the schedule.


“Definitely the Snowball Derby. We are planning to run Seekonk with PASS, there also might have another guest appearance in the Modifieds that weekend, but that’s 50-50. We are going to run the All American 400 at Nashville, first time there; it’s another big race we’re getting involved in. Hopefully we can have a good presence there with our dry sump car, Super Late Model. Other than that, those are the last three races on the board.”


See all three days of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park live on Speed51.TV this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; October 8-10.


-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT

-Photo credit: Speed51

Griffith Continues Chase for Second PASS National Title at Thompson