Thriller: Sam Mayer Holds Off Derek Griffith In ARCA Menards East Series At New Smyrna

Derek Griffith (right) is interviewed by Derek Pernesiglio from NBC Sports following his second place finish in his ARCA Menards East Series debut Monday at New Smyrna Speedway

Derek Griffith made his debut in the ARCA Menards East Series one to remember Monday at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway. 

Unfortunately for the Hudson, N.H. driver he came up one spot short of victory in the ARCA East thriller. 

Sam Mayer held off the charging Griffith to win the Skip’s Western Outfitters 175. 

Griffith was second and Ty Gibbs third. 

“That thing was hooked up,” Griffith said. “… If I had five more laps I think I could have raced with him pretty hard and hopefully came home with it. He did a good job.” 

Despite finishing second, Griffith was the show all night at New Smyrna. 

The Super Late Model regular with the LCM Motorsports team scored the pole for his series debut to start the night at New Smyrna in the Chad Bryant Racing entry. 

From there he went out and dominated the first half of the race. After checking out from the field for most of the first 100 laps, Mayer challenged Griffith for the lead on lap 128 and then once again was to his bumper on lap 140. 

Under caution on lap 143 Griffith went the pits and got four new tires. He restarted in 14thand was up to ninth before the red flag flew after Tanner Gray nearly flipped after riding up the wall and into the fence on the frontstretch. 

Griffith restarted in ninth and came flying through the field over the closing stages. He was up the third by lap 168 and went by Gibbs for second on lap 169. He closed within a car length of Mayer with three laps left, but couldn’t find the lane to power by. 

“He did a good job,” Griffith said. “He ran me clean all night. Man we had a killer car. I can’t believe it. It hurts a little but I’m pretty happy, first time in an ARCA East car.” 

Tanner Gray (17) gets up the wall and into the fence during the ARCA Menards East Series feature Monday at New Smyrna Speedway

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  1. Hell of a race! Wicked fun to see New England being so well represented. DG sure turned some heads and I’m sure this is the beginning of something wonderful!

  2. I’m not really a big fan of fendered cars but that was one heck of a race. Not sure if it is the rules package but I sure want to see more of this new ARCA division. Derek continues to impress everyone.

  3. Very entertaining race. I’ll tune in for more of that.

  4. Was an awesome race, was so excited to see someone from NH doing well with all these top level development drivers. I really hope he gets more shots in that car. Would love to see him in it in September at NHMS.

  5. Bill Realist says

    Nothing against Griffith because he did run a great race but what that truly was about was a real actual race car driver against video game playing rich kids.

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