Story By: KYLE SOUZA / NHMS – LOUDON, NH – Derek Griffith grew up racing at the short tracks of New Hampshire, and now, is ready to take his talents to the big stage in his home state.
On Saturday, July 16, Griffith will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Crayon 200 at “The Magic Mile,” driving for Sam Hunt Racing in what will be his third race of the season with the growing operation.
In his two starts with Sam Hunt Racing earlier in 2022 – the first two of his NXS career – Griffith gained valuable experience he will put to the test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). He’s run the 1.058-mile oval before in a Super Late Model, but is excited for the challenge of the NXS and is hoping to make the hometown fans proud.
There are certainly going to be a large number of Derek Griffith fans in attendance as part of a full weekend as NHMS becomes the center of the NASCAR world.
“I know the Xfinity Series car is going to race a ton differently than a Late Model, but I love Loudon,” Griffith said. “Hopefully that and my experience there falls into my favor. I just want to have a good showing. I have to do my job the best I possibly can. I’ve got a couple of starts in the car with this team, so now I know how things work. I know what I need to bring to the table.”
Outside of racing, Griffith is a business owner of Northeast Auto Imports in Hudson, N.H. Not only does Griffith work in the state, he spends his day-to-day life serving customers of the Granite State and beyond.
On top of that, Hudson Speedway will be the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra for the Crayon 200. Griffith and Hudson Speedway operator Ben Bosowski have worked together to promote the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts facility, and showcasing the track on the car in the NXS is a huge step forward.
“Derek’s driving speaks for itself,” Bosowski said. “It’s all a Cinderella-type story. The hometown kid goes to New Hampshire Motor Speedway with his hometown track on the side of the car as sponsor. It’s one of those stories that you don’t hear much out there anymore. Very rarely do all of the pieces come together like this. It will be a great moment for all of us.”
Derek’s goals in the 200-lap race will be simple: to go out there, finish all the laps and come home with a strong finish. It won’t be the last time the New Hampshire standout competes on the NXS circuit this season either. He has more races planned with Sam Hunt Racing.
“I am beyond pumped to be able to race in the Xfinity Series at NHMS,” Griffith said. “Being able to race there was a big determining factor in trying to find a ride in the Xfinity Series, not even just for me and my family, but for Hudson to be on the car, close to where the track is. It’s going to be awesome to have my friends, my family and everyone else there at the track. I have it circled as what should be a highlight moment of my racing career.”
New England’s NASCAR weekend gets underway Friday, July 15 with Friday Night Dirt Duels Presented by New England Racing Fuel at The Flat Track and continues with Doubleheader Saturday on July 16, featuring the Crayon 200 NXS race and Whelen Manufactured in America 100 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. The grand finale of New England’s biggest race weekend is headlined by the Ambetter 301 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, July 17.