The past few days have been very special for Derek Griffith, who has been busy returning the messages of congratulations, and taking the time to absorb the accomplishment of being named the #1 Pick in the 2021 Speed51 Short Track Draft. But now the celebration is over as Griffith and the No. 12G LCM Motorsports Super Late Model team are a few days away from their next race.
“It was crazy, I don’t usually get stressed out too much but Wednesday night I was all worked up sitting on the couch. Spinning around in circles practically, so it felt good to get it done, now I don’t have to worry about the draft next year too,” Griffith told Speed51.
After the long road trip to Kansas Speedway for ARCA Menards Series competition with Venturini Motorsports last time out, the Hudson, New Hampshire native is making the short haul to one of his home tracks, Lee USA Speedway and 150 laps of Pro All Stars Series racing this Sunday. Griffith is especially ready to be front and center in front of the bulk of his fanbase.
“With New Hampshire back wide open and not racing at any tracks besides Loudon, to head to a home track is exciting. Especially one that we’ve had success at over the years.”
Now 24, Griffith’s success at ‘New Hampshire’s Center of Speed’ goes all the way back to when he was just 15, still fresh out of Four-Cylinders down the road at Hudson Speedway, and just starting to learn how to wheel a Super Late Model.
“Yeah. I don’t know exactly what it is about Lee, but I got my first ever Super Late Model win there back in like 2012, I think. Ever since then we’ve been good, no matter what we got for a car, we just end up where we want to be. We’ve been good there multiple times and a couple of times I didn’t think I had a good enough car to win a race, and somehow, some way the car was good the entire race,” Said Griffith.
“The place has a ton of attitude that I like, I guess. I don’t know if I like it sublimely, but I like racing there.”
Six total wins so far in 2021, with a fourth-place in his Rattler 250 / Southern Super Series debut at South Alabama Speedway, and two solid ARCA showings, have set the bar high for Griffith even before the Draft selection. Mechanical troubles have tempered his latest SLM races, but he’s naturally confident they are behind them.
At the same time, Griffith acknowledges that the competition has closed in on the 12G camp. But, that’s just the way he likes it, knowing that sturdy competition, and even the struggles that pop up along the way, have helped mold him and the team into what they are now.
“We had some mechanical issues at Stafford and New Hampshire before that, but I knew they weren’t going to be easy on me, even if we had the best car in those races. We want to race and we don’t want them all to be easy by any means. We’re racers and I get enjoyment getting put through my paces.”
Ironically, Griffith is keeping his eyes on a particular driver who this same week in a Speed51 story named Griffith, who is going for a fourth straight overall win at Lee USA, as most likely being the main man to beat on Sunday.
“Hopefully we get a good car again and we can put on a good show. There’s a lot of good guys from all around that are going there, like Derek Ramstrom hasn’t raced in a while, and he’s always good when he goes there. It’ll be exciting for sure.”
Head on out to Lee USA Speedway to see the Pro All Stars Series in action, or see it live on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT