Derek Griffith extended his Super Late Model points lead on the seventh night of the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway on Thursday evening by holding off Brad May and Stephen Nasse for his third victory on the week.
Griffith had to be perfect and aggressive to hold off Nasse, but he was thrilled to see all of the hard work his team put into his car during the offseason pay off with yet another win at New Smyrna.
“I’m just real happy,” Griffith said. “We’ve had a good car all week, but some circumstances just haven’t gone our way. We’ve struggled down here for so many years and it means the world to come down here and run good.”
Griffith started his evening by lining up on the outside of the front row against polesitter Daniel Dye, but it would not take long for him to power by Dye and assume control of the 35-lap race.
Dye’s evening would come to an end shortly after the initial start when he was swept up in a multi-car accident that collected many strong cars such as Ryan Moore and former NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champion Jacob Goede.
Following the accident, Griffith was forced to drive defensively with Nasse all over his back bumper, but successfully withstood every challenge until another caution came out with just over 15 laps remaining for R.J. Braun.
A poor restart by Nasse would be enough for Griffith to gap the field and continue his stellar week at the World Series of Asphalt. May ended up taking the second position after finding his way past Nasse on the final restart of the night.
May admitted that he did not have a car capable of chasing down Griffith for the lead, but he was thrilled to simply bring home his best World Series of Asphalt finish of the week after the last three SLM events saw him finish outside the Top 10.
“I wouldn’t say we were about to give up on the week,” May said. “We thought we would hang in the back, run a couple of hard laps and see if we could learn something for the 100-lapper on Saturday. When they started wrecking, we thought maybe we’ll stay out and see if we could get a Top 10. Sure enough, my car started to feel really good and after that last caution I knew it was time to get racing.”
Griffith hopes that he will be able to return to New Smyrna on Saturday evening for the Orange Blossom 100 if the ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona International Speedway ends early enough, as he has every reason to believe that he will end up claiming his second World Series of Asphalt title by the end of the night.
“I’m real confident,” Griffith said. “We have a great race car, but Nasse just had a lot more speed than I did. It’s so tough to pass here, but you have to let them use their stuff up a little bit, and he kind of fell back after that. Can’t believe we got another one, but I hope we have a good enough car for the 100-lapper.”
Nasse held on to finish third, while Sammy Smith and Connor Mosack completed the Top 5.
- Derek Griffith
- Brad May
- Stephen Nasse
- Sammy Smith
- Connor Mosack
- Ryan Moore
- Dan Fredrickson
- Jett Noland
- Chris Hacker
- Patrick Thomas
- Steve Weaver
- R.J. Braun
- Doug Elliott
- Jesse Love
- Jacob Goede
- Daniel Dye
- Michael Hinde
- Jake Finch
- Jake Garcia
- Travis Wilson
- Justin Mondeik
- Kelly Moore
- Kody Swanson (DNS)
- Bubba Pollard (DNS)
If you like what you read here, become a Short Track Scene Patreon and support short track journalism!
Read more Short Track Scene:
- Josh Berry Leaves a Lasting Short Track Legacy
- Super Late Model regional promoters have discussed a national tour
- How a ragtag group of short trackers won the Snowball Derby