On this week's edition of 'Driver Spotlight," we sat down with another UMP modified star, coming out of the Ohio/Indiana area. Bill Griffith entered the 2017 racing season in-search of his first career modified victory, and that elusive victory came during the summer stretch of mid-west Ohio racing, at Waynesfield Raceway Park. Griffith opens up about that triumph, getting injured just a week later at Limaland Motorsports Park, the talent across the UMP scene in Ohio, along with many other must-read topics.
The Xtreme Chassis driver also opens up on his views on the future of dirt modified racing, where it stands today and how it compares to other forms of the sport he's competed in. Giving you, the fan, a behind-the-scenes look into the day-to-day outlook of a grassroots racer. Check the full, Q&A interview out below:
Q.) How was your 2017 season? Any highlights or accomplishments that stand out?
A.) "The 2017 season was full of ups and downs. I started the year in Florida in early February. Had some rough early season luck but it came around mid-season to score my first ever win at Waynesfield Raceway Park. A week later, I was injured by a piece of lead at Limaland but kept up on the horse to continue the season. We finished 6th in Ohio UMP points and had fun racing down at the Gateway Nationals last week."
Q.) What are your 2018 plans?
A.) "2018 looks to be an exciting year for me. My crewman (Austin Swisher), and I work very well together and have figured out a lot of things to get this Xtreme Chassis rolling well. I will most likely start back up in March, and run about the same 30-40 races as we did this year."
Q.) What's it like racing in the Ohio/Indiana area and do you think it makes you a better driver racing against the level of talent the modified scene brings?
A.) "We have a great area for UMP Modifieds. The competition at Lima(Ohio) is by far the toughest around and it helps me become a better driver by learning from some of the greats like Todd Sherman, Tony Anderson, Jerry Bowersox and Jeff Koz. I’ve always been known to travel to tracks, but to me the local ones are always the best."
Q.) Where do you think dirt modified racing is heading and do you like the direction things are going?
A.) "Modifieds seem to be the class with the most growth to me. Car counts are high wherever we go and the competition is just as equal. Cost is always a factor in racing, but for mods, it seems like it’s possible to run up front with a lower budget. Something that I can easily prove with the funds I run on. I have run a vast number of classes (sprints to pavement lates and everything in between), and mods seem to be a perfect fit for me. I’ve never been more excited to race as I am now."
Q.) What are your future goals?
A.) "I just want to continue on improving my driving skills, my setup skills and have fun. I have no expectations set in stone but hope to race for a long time."
Q.) Anyone you'd like to thank for your career up to this point?
A.) "I want to thank my crewman Austin for working with me in 2017 as well as the upcoming 2018 year. Also thanks to Rich Robinson of Xtreme Chassis for always answering the phone and talking me thru things. He builds a quality, affordable car up there in Michigan and I’m lucky to get one of his cars. I also need to thank, Dave Hocanson, from Hocanson Speed and Power. Dave has been helping me with my motors for almost 5 years now and without him, there is no way I could do it. Steyer Seeds has also been a continuing sponsor for me year after year. Without them, there would be no Griffith Racing."
*SPEEDWAY SHOTS Photo Credit