CLERMONT, Ind.: Fresh off a top-10 finish in his ARCA Menards Series debut at the monstrous Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Derek Griffith and his Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) team trek to Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) looking for their first victory of the season in Friday night’s Calypso Lemonade 200.
Digesting a big track like Pocono last weekend can be intimidating to any rookie driver, but thankfully Lucas Oil Raceway Park is home to 0.686-mile short track, where tire conservation is critical, and handling is premium.
Two characteristics that Griffith and his No. 22 Original Gourmet™ Food Company Ford team plan to perfect in the fifth race of the season.
“I am looking forward to getting back to a short track for sure,” said Griffith. “Last weekend at Pocono Raceway was great experience for myself and I look forward to getting back to a bigger track soon, but I’m focused on Friday night and the chance to put our No. 22 Original Gourmet™ Food Company Ford in Victory Lane.”
Unlike last week, Griffith will not have to make his Lucas Oil Raceway debut with just a few practice laps and no qualifying.
This weekend, the ARCA Menards Series shifts to a more traditional schedule which Griffith believes his Chad Bryant Racing team can capitalize on.
“I have a lot of “studying” to do this week in watching previous races, taking notes and talking to my team, but I’m eager to get on the track and experience Lucas Oil Raceway for myself,” added Griffith.
“Having the opportunity to practice and qualify on Friday is something I think we can execute well and get a good feel of where we need to be for the race.
“It’s going to be important for me to know how the track reacts throughout the day and with the race being run at night, I know I can give my feedback to Paul (Andrews, crew chief) and he’ll make the right adjustments that will keep us in contention.”
Friday night’s race will mark the second race with Original Gourmet™ Food Company as the primary partner of Griffith’s No. 22 Ford Fusion.
Headquartered in Salem, New Hampshire, Original Gourmet™ has been innovating in the sweets and snack industry since 1994. Their story started with a recipe and a vision.
Their curiosity for making special blends of flavors and colors of candy became a passion for providing people with bold tasting lollipops.
Griffith’s car will be covered in a variety of the company’s 26 lollipops flavors.
Original Gourmet’s lollipops are the largest pops sold with a bright taste and bright colors – standing out from all the rest. Weighing in at 1.1 oz., these lollipops are gluten and peanut free delights that have a plastic stick and will not get soggy like all the other lollipops do.
“After a sold first run at Pocono, everyone at Original Gourmet is excited to see our bright yellow No. 22 Ford Fusion hit the track again. They are a great new partner for the sport and bring a product that race fans can enjoy while watching our Chad Bryant Racing compete for race wins.”
Team owner Chad Bryant says he is ecstatic to have Griffith at the wheel for Chad Bryant Racing’s return to Lucas Oil Park.
“I know we can go there and win on Friday night,” offered Bryant. “Derek is a quick learner and I think he’ll get comfortable with the track much like he did with New Smyrna and put us in a position to win.
“Derek is a smart racer and his instincts I think will be pivotal to our success. We’ve had fast cars all season long and I know we can continue to showcase that on Friday night.”
For more on Original Gourmet™ Food Company and their products, please visit ogfc.net.
The Calypso Lemonade 200 (200 laps | 137 miles) is the fifth of 20 races on the 2020 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Fri., July 3 with a forty-five practice session from 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for 5:45 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV, while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (Eastern).