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How promoter helped get Derek Griffith into Bigley 125

Derek Griffith, Tim Curry, and Finish Line Fabricating Racecars will combine to seek a $30,000-plus payday in the Noland Roofing Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128 presented by West Orange Roofing on November 24-25.

The season finale for the SRL National series will take place at Freedom Factory’s 3/8-mile paved oval and will be Griffith’s first visit to the former Desoto Speedway. For car owner Tim Curry, with his Finish Line Fabricating house car, it will be a return to a facility he raced at many years ago.

“I raced there when I was new to racing in 1978”, Curry recalled. “I was a multi-time champion at Collier County Speedway (FL) in Naples, when Bill Bigley Sr. was the president of the association. Bill Jr. and I were best friends at the time.”

Curry is happy to have Griffith behind the wheel of his Super Late Model, after initially planning to be behind the wheel himself. Secondary plans found another driver scheduled to race his #90, but health issues put those plans on hold, with Griffith getting the call for the FLF house car.

“I feel very good, he is a great young man”, Curry explained his feelings about having Griffith in his Super Late Model. “And he is a respectful hard charging driver.”

Likewise, Griffith is looking forward to competing in the Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128 at Freedom Factory for the first time. He is also happy to climb behind the wheel of a car that is always competitive.

“I am super excited to get the call to drive the FLF house car”, Griffith explained. I’m especially excited for the Bigley race. I know we can be competitive, as it seems they always are.”

The deal to race with Curry came about with the help of SRL National promoter Ricky Brooks. Griffith was originally on the outside looking in, with only one Super Late Model and a marque event following the next weekend.

“We told Ricky awhile back that we wouldn’t be able to race, due to only having one Super and the (Snowball) Derby so close, it had us in a tough spot”, Griffith stated. “He helped line this deal up for us, so that’s that the Series Promoter is working that hard for the racers.”

Griffith is a two-time Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist. The New England racing star has been a dominant force in the Super Late Model division in Florida as well. During Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway, he was the World Series champion in both 2020 and 2021, nearly making it three-in-a-row in 2022.

He was the first driver with consecutive Super Late Model Series titles since the series began in 1968, and he joined Pete Hamilton, Junior Hanley, Dick Trickle and Pete Orr as multi-time champions. He grabbed six victories from 2020 to 2022 against some of the best Super Late Model drivers in the nation.

In 2021, Griffith was the Number 1 pick in the Speed 51.com (now Racing America) Short Track Draft, for drivers aged 25 and under. He was the 2018 and 2021 Pro All Star Series National Champion and finished as the North Division runner-up in 2019. The two-time Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) Easter Bunny 150 winner had a great September of 2020 winning the Granite State Nationals at Claremont Motorsports Park (NH) and the Freedom 300 at Lee USA Speedway (NH) in back-to-back weekends.

His 2023 season has found Griffith in Victory Lane several times, including the Sportsman Division at New Smyrna

Speedway’s World Series, as well as in the PASS North Super Late Model Series at Thunder Road International Speedbowl (VT). But his season has not been up to his high expectations, established over the last half dozen seasons. Griffith will seek to finish at or near the front on November 25 th , in his third SRL National start of the season.

“My expectations are to have a good showing as always”, Griffith exclaimed! “There’s been a ton of traction around the Freedom Factory, and this race, so it will be awesome to have our hat in the ring.”

Griffith participated in the inaugural SRL National event at Citrus County Speedway (FL) in 2022. He came home fifth in that event. He has made all four SRL National events at Berlin Raceway (MI) but is still looking for his first top-10 at the tricky facility. Now he heads to Freedom Factory seeking a $30,000 victory with help from Finish Line Fabricating and Lakeway Truck Center.

The Noland Roofing Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128 presented by West Orange Roofing will pay $30,000 to the winner with $4,000 to the Fast Qualifier. Another $1,000 is available if the Fast Qualifier wins the feature event, both thanks to Langford Lawn and Landscape. Tech Inspection and Practice will take place on November 24. Saturday, November 25 will see Practice, Qualifying, two Last Chance Races, a Non-Qualifiers Race, and the featured 8th Annual Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128.

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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