NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Derek Griffith finished on the podium during Friday’s David Rogers Super Late Model feature that opened the 55th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, but that simply wasn’t enough for the driver from New Hampshire.
Fast forward to Saturday and Griffith, the defending World Series champion in the David Rogers Super Late Model division, was in his own zip code as he roared to his first victory of the week and third of his career during the World Series.
“It just feels good, especially after last night,” Griffith said in Victory Lane. “I know we finished podium, but we got tore up and had all sorts of issues. To come out and kind of prove ourselves as someone who kind of belongs here, it feels good.”
With a band of storms washing out qualifying, the field for Saturday’s 35-lap feature was set based on the finishing order of Friday’s race. The top-six were then inverted, placing Justin Mondeik on the pole alongside Connor Mosack.
Mosack drove into the lead entering turn one from the top, with fourth-starting Griffith advancing to second by the completion of the first lap. Griffith took several looks to the inside of Mosack in the first few laps before finally making his move on lap eight. They raced side-by-side for two laps before Griffith completed the pass entering turn one on the 10th circuit.
It was effectively game, set, match from there as Griffith drove away from the field en route to the victory.
“We’re just a small, family-owned team,” said Griffith, who is also scheduled to compete in the ARCA Menards Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13 for Venturini Motorsports. “It’s so cool to come down here and run with these guys and compete.”
Mosack finished more than a second behind Griffith in second, followed by Mondeik in third. Jacob Goede took fourth after holding off a fierce challenge from Jett Noland in the final laps of the race.
Bryan Kruczek initially won the 50-lap Sportsman feature after an intense battle with Friday’s feature winner Matthew Green, but both were later disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct after their respective crews shared harsh words with each other. That eventually led to a physical altercation in technical inspection, leading to the disqualifications.
As a result, third-place finisher Wayne Smith inherited the victory.
Noland doubled his fun in the Pro Late Model class as he outran Kody Swanson for the second-straight night. Travis Eddy also earned his second victory in as many days in the Florida Modified division.
Lastly, Matt Jarrett was initially declared the winner of the E-Mod feature, but he and runner-up Michael Mark were disqualified due to left-side weight violations. Tim Walters inherited the win.
Super Late Model (35 laps): 1. Derek Griffith, 2. Connor Mosack, 3. Justin Mondeik, 4. Jacob Goede, 5. Jett Noland, 6. Ryan Moore, 7. Sammy Smith, 8. Brad May, 9. Jake Garcia, 10. Dan Fredrickson 11. R.J. Braun, 12. Kris Wright, 12. Stephen Nasse, 14. Jesse Love, 15. Kelly Moore, 16. Daniel Dye, 17. Michael Hinde, 18. Jake Finch, 19. Nick Panitzke, 20. Kody Swanson 21. Bubba Pollard, 22. Jaden Cretacci, 23. Steve Weaver, 24. Patrick Thomas, 25. Travis Wilson.