Derek Griffith Looking To Clinch First Granite State Pro Stock Series Title At Speedbowl Super Bowl

(Press Release from New London-Waterford Speedbowl)

Granite State Pro Stock Series LogoThe last time the Pro Stocks were in action at the New London Waterford Speedbowl, Derek Griffith wasn’t born yet.
Griffith is 18, and the Pro Stocks haven’t been in action at the Speedbowl since 1995, 20 years ago.

The Hudson, N.H. driver, however, isn’t just looking forward to running at Waterford for the first time, he also has a bigger goal in mind — winning the Granite State Pro Stock Series championship. He comes into the final race of the season with a 40-point lead over veteran Barry Gray.

“Winning the championship would be huge,” Griffith said. “Two years ago, we didn’t even have a Top 3 car. This is a giant step up.”

The Pro Stocks will play a major role in the Speedbowl’s final weekend, Bemer’s Super Bowl of Auto Racing, which will take place Saturday and Sunday.

Twelve divisions will be in action, including the Granite State Pro Stock series, which will be competing in a 150-lap showdown. The qualifying and the 150-lap feature for the Pro Stocks will be held Saturday.

While many of the Granite State drivers have yet to set foot on the Waterford track, Griffith is an exception — he participated in a testing session.

“When we rolled out, we didn’t expect the track to be as fast as it was,” Griffith said. “The straight-aways and turns are long, but there’s so much grip here. It’s unbelievable how much speed you can carry. I think this will be one of my favorite tracks before the weekend is over.”

Griffith has four wins this season and has been a threat in every race.

“We started off the year on the right foot and we’ve been in good shape ever since,” Griffith said. “We’ve always been fast before, but we just didn’t have the experience.”

Enter Louie Mechalides, Griffith’s crew chief and a great driver in his own right.

“Louie has been teaching me his tricks, and it’s finally paying off,” Griffith said. “Two years ago, I didn’t know what a right spring adjustment would do. Now the knowledge is increasing. Sometimes I would relay the wrong information to the team, and it would set us back. It’s a lot easier when you can relay the right information, and that’s what we’ve done this year.”

Mechalides is best known to Speedbowl fans for driving in the Valenti Modified Racing Series. He’s also been a champion Super Late Model and Pro Stock driver, winning titles at such tracks as New Smyrna Speedway.

“Louie and I are at a level where we hang out and I go over his house,” Griffith said. “I’m like part of the family.”

On Saturday, he’ll try to be part of the championship family.

“Two years ago, we weren’t even contending for a win,” Griffith said. “”This year we’ve had four wins and we have the point lead.
“The big thing is to show all the guys that I actually can get it done. We’ve had a great track at every track we’ve been to. And now it’s all up to me.”

Griffith hasn’t won the title yet, but he can see it — it’s only 150 laps away.

Only four other Pro Stock races have been held at Waterford. Dick Houlihan won in 1988, John Rosati and Tony Papale won in 1989 and the late Jim McCallum was the most recent winner in 1995.

The action starts Saturday with qualifying at 1:30 and features at 4:30 p.m. There will be a 20-lap Bandoleros feature, a 40-lap Mini-Stock feature, a 25-lap New England Truck Series feature, a 20-lap X-Car event, a 20-lap Super X-Car race, 2 Legend car consolation races, and a 40-lap Limited Sportsman race, in addition to the 150-lap Granite State Pro Stock finale.

On Sunday, the racing gets under way at 1:30 p.m. The first event will be the Legend car B-Main. Then two 35-lap features will be held for the Tri-Track Series Open Modified, which 44 tour type Modifieds have already registered, with $3,000 going to the winner of each race. The top 11 finishers in each semifinal will be promoted to the finals.

The Tri-Track semis will be followed by a 30-lap Late Model feature and a 25-lap SK Light feature.

Then the 65-lap Tri Track Open Modified feature will take place, worth $5,000 to the winner, plus lap money and cash bonuses.
There will be a 35-lap Battle of the Sound Legends feature, with over 50 Legend cars already registered, all leading up to the 75-lap SK Modified Nationals.

Tickets are priced at $35. Pits are $50. Youths 13-16 are $10 and children 12-and-under are always admitted free.

For more information about Bemer’s Super Bowl of Auto Racing, call 860-442-7223 or contact

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