Auto Racing

Griffin gearing up to race at Eldora

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 15, 2019 1:20 pm

QUINCY -- Jake Griffin's racing career is alive and well.

The 20-year-old Quincy resident is set to return to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2 1/2 weeks and used Sunday night at Quincy Raceways as a primer.

Griffin, a one-time regular at Quincy in both late models and modifieds, was on hand to begin fine-tuning his craft in time for the Aug. 31 Eldora Dirt Derby on the high banks of famed Eldora Speedway in northwestern Ohio. The race will be nationally televised by Fox Sports.

"This is the first time I've raced in three years," Griffin said.

Griffin, who finished third in the sport mod feature driving for the Patrick Profeta team out of Keokuk, Iowa, will be racing as much as possible prior to Eldora. Griffin will be driving for Mike Affarano Racing Motorsports at Eldora.

If he enjoys success at Eldora -- where he had a fourth-place finish in 2016 driving for Red Horse Racing -- some doors could open for him, in terms of additional NASCAR events.

"It all depends on Eldora," said Griffin, who has also had seat time in the ARCA series, including a ninth-place finish in 2016 in the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.

One part of Griffin's future racing schedule that appears more concrete is his role in the Profeta modified.

"I'll probably be in that the rest of the year," Griffin said

Griffin said he has also lined up a ride in a late model race in Alaska later this season.

Griffin spent time in recent years trying to land a NASCAR-related position in Mooresville, N.C., one the series' home bases. When those efforts failed, he returned to Quincy, biding his time, waiting for the kind of opportunity that now awaits in Eldora.

"I'm super excited," Griffin said.

Sunday night feature winners at the Broadway Bullring included Adam Birck in the sport mods, Dave Wietholder in modifieds, Denny Woodworth in crate late models, Shane Myers in stock cars and Barry Taft in sport compacts.

Birck's victory was his fourth of the season and his first since June 2. Austen Becerra outdueled Griffin over the final two laps to gain the runner-up position.

Wietholder secured his first win since opening night (April 7) and took another sizable step toward a fourth straight modified championship. Wietholder (400) unofficially holds a whopping 77-point lead over fifth-place?finisher Josh Newman (323) in the points standing. Kevin Blackburn in second, Frankie Wellman Jr. in third and Shawn Deering in fourth completed the top five.

Woodworth's victory was his fourth of the season and 25th in the crate late series since 2017. Woodworth, who looks well on his way to an eighth track championship, leads feature runner-up Darin Weisinger Jr. by 79 points (435-356).

Myers' win was first of the season, but the big news in the stock car division was the two-three finish from Michael Larsen and Beau Taylor. Larsen and Taylor are now deadlocked for first in points with 254, with both seeking their first track title.

Taft continued to dominate the sport compacts with his fifth victory. Taft, who also has four heat-race wins, is tied with Birck for total wins (9) among all drivers.