HICKORY, N.C. – Derek Griffith finally conquered Hickory Motor Speedway and the Easter Bunny 150 on Friday evening, leading more than half the race on his way to victory.
Griffith, who in February clinched his second-straight World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing super late model championship at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, had the best car throughout the 150-lap contest.
The native of Hudson, N.H., set fast time during qualifying and started the race from the fifth position following a redraw. Carson Hocevar took the lead at the start from polesitter D.J. Shaw, but Griffith quickly made his way to the front.
On lap 26 Griffith slipped past Shaw to take second and two laps later he did the same to Hocevar to take the race lead. Griffith would go on to lead the remainder of the race, but not without multiple challenges from Shaw during restarts.
The final such restart came with eight laps left and just like he had all night, Griffith held serve to pick up the victory.
“It was tough at the end there,” Griffith said. “He (Shaw) did a better job maintaining his car than I did. I might have used it up a little bit more during the race there. I knew he had a little more speed than he did earlier in the race, or I had less speed, one or the other.
“I’ve really got to thank my crew. They worked their butts off for sure.”
Shaw, one of two previous Easter Bunny 150 winners in the field, settled for second. Mike Hopkins, Travis Stearns and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. completed the top-five.
The event, sanctioned by the Pro All Stars Series, was the first of two Easter Bunny 150 events scheduled for this weekend. Friday’s race was a make-up for the 2020 edition of the event, which was postponed due to COVID-19.
Griffith will attempt to sweep the weekend when competitors return to Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday for the second Easter Bunny 150 of the weekend.
Derek Griffith, D.J. Shaw, Mike Hopkins, Travis Stearns, Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Kyle DeSouza, Ryan Kuhn, Gabe Brown, Ben Rowe, Derek Kneeland, Evan Hallstrom, Carson Hocevar, Travis Benjamin, Devin O’Connell, Trevor Sanborn, Trevor Bleau, Jake Matheson, Cory Casagrande, Kate Re, Craig Weinstein, Charlie Sanborn, Tyler Church, Ben Ashline, Nick Loden, Joey Doyon, Jordan Miller, Dennis Spencer, Joey Doiron, Jerry Artuso, Jeremy Sorrell, Jason Corliss, Anthony Constantino.