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Derrick Griffin Wins Modified 75, Friend Kyle Purvis Claims Series Championship
205
12/5/2020

12/5/2020

Five Flags Speedway


Derrick Griffin Wins Modified 75, Friend Kyle Purvis Claims Series Championship

 

Griffin Earns Modifieds of Mayhem Snowball Derby Victory on Second Night 

 

By Chuck Corder 

Victory Lane felt like Homecoming on Thursday at the 53rd annual Snowball Derby. 

A growing crowd gathered to watch Indiana-transplant Derrick Griffin, who has made Pensacola his home for the better part of a decade.  

He found love here when he met fiancée Taylor Speranzo. This is where he built DG Performance – Griffin’s racecar fabricating business that works on the setups for many accomplished short-track drivers. 

And, on Night 2 of the Derby, Five Flags Speedway is where Griffin became king. 

Griffin won the caution-plagued Modifieds of Mayhem 75-lap Snowball Derby when he passed Casey Smith for good seven laps from the checkered flag. Smith finished runner-up and Cody Stickler rounded out the podium. 

Griffin flashed a million-watt smile as he climbed out of his clean black-and-yellow No. 95 after doing a burnout down the famed half-mile asphalt oval’s front straightaway. Speranzo had to fan herself down as the moment and her emotions settled in. 

“She’s pretty excited,â€? Griffin said of Speranzo. “I wasn’t sure what I had left with Casey playing games on the restarts. This just feels like a long time coming.â€? 

His night got even better when Kyle Purvis came home fourth. A fellow Midwestern, Purvis and Griffin are close friends and Purvis is one of Griffin’s many clients. Because of his fourth-place finish, Purvis captured the season championship for the Modifieds of Mayhem, which wrapped up their season Friday. 

“It’s nice to beat Kyle Purvis for once,â€? Griffin teased. “It’s so cool to see him win a championship. And we’re able to get the win here. I mean, that’s awesome.â€? 

Griffin prevailed despite the 75 lapper being a war of attrition. There were 10 total cautions and several red flags as a field of 31 Mods were determined to do everything in their power to be the last man standing Friday. 

One of the red flags included a wild scene of pit crew members doing their best Olympic sprinters impressions and hauling it to the tire shed to retrieve more fuel for their drivers stopped on the speedway. There were so many cautions that race officials tapped into the rule book and began counting laps under yellow. 

Thankfully, Griffin and Purvis stayed clear of trouble and celebrated with big trophies and photos with “Snowballâ€? the mascot. 

“Earlier in the year, we weren’t racing up north because of COVID,â€? Purvis said. “So, I came down here to run the Modifieds of Mayhem tour. I’ve enjoyed everything about running here in the south.â€? 

Smith was a factor all night in his return to Five Flags. The former Super Late Model driver and Southern Super Series champion started fourth and made his way toward the front immediately. 

He found clean air when he shot passed Griffin on a restart with 55 completed laps. Griffin stayed chill, though, cooling down the tires and reclaiming the lead on Lap 68. 

 

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