"It's hard to explain the feeling.  It's like once you start it, you can't really get away from it".  That's what Hudson, New Hampshire, native Derek Griffith says about being a race car driver.

The Pro All Star Series National Division Champion says, "Whether you're going to your local short track going 50 mph in a little four-cylinder car or going 200 at Daytona, you feel the same, and think how amazing it is to get in a race car."

Derek calls it an adrenaline rush every time he races. "Every time I strap into a race car I think how lucky I am to do what I do, and I get to drive race cars as much as I do, and live out people's dreams."

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Indeed he will live out his own dream when he races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, part of the NASCAR weekend July 17-19.

"For us to have the experience here, is a head start than what we had on the other race tracks.  It'll allow me to get more comfortable in a quicker time frame."  He and his team have laps at NHMS, which is an edge.

Tracks are all different with track surfaces, tire grip, banking, and other factors, so knowing how a track feels before you go into a race is a confidence builder.

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As a kid, Griffith looked up to guys like Ricky Craven, from Newburgh, Maine, and those who raced and grew up in the Northeast.

Now Derek is that guy, and he's excited as he races on his home track with friends and family in the grandstands.  "Friends I haven't seen since high school have been messaging me saying "Hey I'll be there Saturday (July 16) and can't wait to see you race".

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Griffith says, "Ben (Bosowski), the owner of Hudson Speedway, has been a huge help over the last few years since he bought Hudson Speedway. It's a sentimental connection since it's so close to home.  It's only 3 minutes from my house and 5 minutes from my business."

Hudson Speedway is a huge part of New Hampshire racing history, according to Griffith, who started racing at 12 years old at the speedway in Hudson, NH.

Griffith also has the backing of Sam Hunt Racing (no, not the country singer).

If you're a new fan of motorsports, Griffith recommends going around to the short tracks all across New England.  Watching races at the 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile tracks gives you a perspective on how fun racing is.

According to derekgriffith.com,  he's raced two career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in Richmond and Martinsville. He's also a multi-time champion of New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, and a Pro All Star Series National Division Champion.

Look for the #26 Hudson Speedway Toyota GR Supra and Sam Hunt Racing at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16.

When Derek Griffith is not racing, he owns Northeast Auto Imports in Hudson, NH.

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