Augie to Drive Heil’s Modified Fridayadmin
Grill – Derby’s Winningest Driver – To Drive for Fellow Derby Champ in Modifieds of Mayhem 50 Lapper
By Chuck Corder
Augie Grill’s name fills the record books of Five Flags Speedway.
The Hayden, Ala., driver owns one of the more storied legacies not only at the famed half-mile asphalt oval but in all of short-track racing.
In addition to owning the current Allen Turner Pro Late Models track record (16.259 seconds) at Five Flags, Grill has won a second-best nine Blizzard Series races in Super Late Models at Pensacola’s high banks, and he became the most-decorated driver in Snowball Derby history last December when he captured his eighth Derby week title.
Grill has won Sunday’s prestigious Derby race twice (2007-08), three Snowflake 100s for PLMs (2009, 2011, 2016), and has hoisted the checkered flag in the last three consecutive Modifieds Derby races.
He will be back in an open-wheeled Modified this Friday night at Five Flags, driving for Texan driver John Heil in the Modifieds of Mayhem first trip to Pensacola this season.
“It’s awesome. It’s fun to work with him,” said Heil, who is the reigning Outlaws Derby champion and won the Faith Chapel Outlaws feature May 15. “He gets out there and tells me what he feels and I adjust it. It tends to go faster after. It’s easy to make the car fast when the driver knows what he feels.”
The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks will join the open-wheeled Mods. The Sportsmen will be racing their annual 35-lap Spectacular with $1,000 up for grabs to the winner. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday with admission being $12 for adults, seniors, military, and students; and free for children ages 11-and-under.
While Grill built his name winning races, the 43-year-old continues to leave his fingerprints all over the sport of short-track racing through his company, Grand American Race Cars (“GARC”). GARC builds chassis for drivers all over the country.
Why settle for one job you love when you could have two? Grill appears to be closer to having balance between racing and work, but it’s a constant juggle because business is booming.
Heil, unexpectedly, was one of those clients 16 years ago after he bought a used GARC Late Model from a friend.
“I didn’t know Augie from anybody, but I called (GARC) up to ask a few questions,” Heil recalled. “They had no problem helping me. That meant a lot because they did not know me from anybody. They treat everybody the same.”
And usually Grill and his GARC team, including his father Frankie Grill, go the extra mile. Heil remembers Augie Grill taking the shocks off his own car to help Heil compete in a race years ago.
Augie Grill has regularly competed in Modifieds of Mayhem races at Five Flags in recent years. He won the August 2018 feature and finished runner-up twice – in April last year and in May 2018.
He’ll be looking to add to his trophy case and another victory this Friday at the famed half-mile asphalt oval.