Emotion Overdrive: Glenn Griswold Scores First Waterford Speedbowl SK Light Modified Victory

WATERFORD – Dedication has been the calling card in 2013 when it comes to the racing efforts of Glenn Griswold.

Glenn Griswold celebrates his first SK Light Modified victory of 2013 Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl

The often times one man show has started every SK Light Modified event run at Connecticut short tracks in 2013, plus a couple more out of state.

Saturday that dedication paid off at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Griswold, of Vernon, held off the challenges of Larry Goss and Paul French to win the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature at Overdrive Radio 300 night at the Waterford Speedbowl.

“I’m a pretty emotional guy in victory lane,” Griswold said as his voice cracked. “I’ve just got to thank Paul [French] and the other competitors for letting me race fair and square with them. I have a lot of fun doing this. I love racing. It’s all for the love of the sport. I knew if we kept our nose to the grindstone we could get it done.”

French, of Andover, was second and Alan Benincaso of Westport third.

Name a type of car that’s raced at a New England short track over the last three decades and chances are Griswold has competed in it as some point or another since he started racing in 1983.

Griswold’s last victory came in an SK Light Modified at Stafford Motor Speedway on June 15, 2007. That was his first career victory in a Modified type car.

This year the 49-year old Griswold, and his one car operation, have started 19 events between Waterford, Stafford, Thompson International Speedway, Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway and Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. Many weeks he shows up to the track with no crew members to help.

“I came a few weeks ago, just me, myself and I actually had to have someone else help put the window net up because I can’t put the window net up myself,” Griswold said. “I work hard at this. I’m very dedicated with what I do. I wish I had more crew members. But, it’s the love of racing that keeps me going every week. Some weeks I get discouraged and don’t go in the shop for a couple days, but them I’ll go bust out three 12-hour days to get [the car] ready for the next race. These wins don’t come as often as you wish they could and I’ll take them any way I can get them.”

Griswold went by French for the lead with 22 laps left and Goss followed him into second place. For 10 laps Griswold and Goss fought side-by-side for the top spot before Goss spun out of second with six laps left.

Over the final six laps Griswold had to hold off the charges of French. On May 18 French got by Griswold for a win in the SK Light Modified feature at Waterford.

“I try to preach to everybody, one-piece racing,” Griswold said of trying not to cause major damage to his car. “… A couple weeks ago when [Paul French] beat me, I didn’t want to lift. I had him on the outside and he kind of got into me a couple times. I said ‘I can’t afford to tear the right front off’ so I settled for second. Well tonight, I wasn’t settling for nothing but the win.”

Griswold had three consecutive second place finishes at Waterford before Saturday’s victory. With his first win of the season out of the way, Griswold is now focusing on bigger things. He now sits second in the SK Light Modified standings at Waterford, 14 points behind leader Randy Churchill Jr.

“I’ve never won a championship,” Griswold said. “I’ve come in second, had top-five’s, but I’ve never won a championship. I think we have a legitimate chance of winning a championship here.”

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