RACE REPORT: Martinsville – Derek Griffith / No. 26 Toyota GR Supra

Image by Daylon Barr Photography

Derek Griffith recorded a 21st-place finish in the Call 811 Before You Dig 250 at Martinsville Speedway, recording his highest finish in NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) competition.

Qualifying for the 250-lap race followed a single car/two lap procedure. Griffith went out 21st in the qualifying order and qualified 36th due to mechanical issues.

The team repaired the mechanical issue prior to the 250-lap race which, due to unapproved adjustments, required Griffith to start at the tail end of the field.

Griffith competed as high as 6th after starting at the rear of the field.

Track position played a major role in 250-lap race.

The No. 26 Toyota GR Supra was posting Top-10 lap times throughout the first stage of the race and into Stage Two prior to a crash just before the end of the second stage. Griffith received cosmetic damage as a result of the incident that placed him into the Turn One wall.

Griffith was involved, at no fault of his own, in two more incidences in the final stage.

Stage One Recap
Derek Griffith and the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra started at the rear of the field in Friday night’s Call 811 Before You Dig 250 at Martinsville Speedway.
Griffith gained ten positions prior to the end of Stage One.
The young 25-year-old driver reported the car was tight center-off at the Lap 38 caution period. Crew Chief Allen Hart called Griffith to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
Griffith reported throughout the remainder of the stage that the adjustments helped a lot, but the No. 26 Supra was still a tick tight on exit.
“Everything feels good here. I’m getting into a rhythm,” Griffith said.
At the stage end, Hart called for the No. 26 to stay out rather than pitting which gave the 26 team much needed track position.

Stage Two Recap
Griffith restarted 6th to kick off the second stage of the race.
By the Lap 101 caution, Griffith had fallen back to 19th on older tires. He reported the No. 26 had become tight during the second stage, but stayed out during the caution period.
On Lap 115, contact by a competitor sent Griffith into the Turn One Wall bringing out the caution.
The No. 26 was brought to pit road for cosmetic fixes, four tires and fuel. The team remained on the lead lap.
The field restarted with one lap to go in Stage 2.
Griffith ended Stage 2 in the 27th position.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-250) Recap
Due to pitting too early prior to the stage end, Griffith had to restart the final stage at the tail of the field in the 30th position.
Griffith was picking through the field throughout the final stage while cautions continued to fly.
On lap 236, Griffith was caught up in a Turn 1 incident with nowhere to go, but continued on. Team elected not to pit.
Griffith was 24th with 8 laps remaining.

The Call 811 Before You Dig 250 went into overtime under the lights at Martinsville Speedway.
The first overtime attempt did not make it through Turn 1 when the leaders crashed and caused a multi-car pileup with Griffith included.
The second overtime attempt went green. Griffith brought home a 21st place finish in his second NXS start.

How was your weekend at Martinsville?

“Our car was really good after fixing brake issues on practice day. We unfortunately got wrecked early and fought back all race. The team worked efficiently to keep us on the lead lap and we were able to bring home a 21st place finish. I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me and cheering us on. I am forever grateful for these opportunities that I have and I am hopeful we will get some more.”

Derek Griffith — Driver of the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra

Sam Hunt Racing PR
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