Daytona International Speedway’s Griffeth Inducted Into Alumni Hall of Fame

Episode 107 May 22, 2016

The family of inaugural Caribou High School Alumni Hall of Fame  member Jason Griffeth gather around the portrait to be displayed at Caribou High School. Left to right, Robert and wife Lona, sister Jessica, sister-in-law Billy with husband Joel. HTF Motorsports photo

The family of inaugural Caribou High School Alumni Hall of Fame member Jason Griffeth gather around the portrait to be displayed at Caribou High School. Left to right, father and mother Robert and Lona, sister Jessica, sister-in-law Billy with husband Joel. HTF Motorsports photo

Elite Group Inducted Into Caribou High School Alumni Hall of Fame Six distinguished Caribou High School graduates were the first inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame. Joining Griffeth in this inaugural class were inventor O.P. Pierson, Admiral Greg Johnson, Senator Susan Collins, Cary Medical Center CEO Kris Doody, and NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir. Griffeth was chosen for his outstanding work at two of the most famous sports venues in the world, Fenway Park and Daytona International Speedway. Griffeth in his remarks via Skype said he was humbled joining such accomplished people in the Hall of Fame since all he did was grow grass. Griffeth was unable to attend because he and his crew were preparing for the “Country 500″ concert at Daytona next weekend. Jessica, Griffeth’s older sister, works in Portland, Maine producing TV commercials for such companies as Lincoln, Cadillac, Reebok, and Delta Airlines. She remarked that,” Jason growing up was always by my Dad’s side. He always wanted to work on the farm. Once Dad got done farming he knew he wanted to be outside and wanted to do something that would be an extension of that.” “He got into the Caribou Country Club and after graduation then went for Turf Landscaping and ended up with the Red Sox.” ” I think Dave (Mellor the Head of Grounds for the red Sox) had a lot of respect for Jason. I think Jason became a counterpart to him. It wasn’t a traditional boss employee situation. He allowed Jason to make decisions and never second guessed him. He would always consult with Jason.” It was tough for Griffeth to leave Fenway yet he received the blessing of his now former boss Mellor to spread his wings and be on his own. Jessica commented that, “I think that because Dad had been sick a couple times in the last three years and was receiving treatment in Boston Jason was concerned about leaving. Jason was a huge support system for Mom and Dad in Boston. When Dad said to go do what made him happy that helped cement the decision to go to Daytona.” Griffeth’s younger brother Joel who works for Big Rock Transportation in Mars Hill, noted this about the ceremony, “It was very, very impressive. It was a big honor to have my brother involved in such a highly regarded group. Like Jason said, ‘the guy that mows the grass to be put in there with a US Senator and a Navy Admiral is quite an honor.’ It is very humbling to my brother and our family as well.” Griffeth father Robert, added that, “We are pretty proud of him. He is a hard worker with a lot of integrity.” Griffeth’s photo along with the other inductees will be displayed on the Hall of Fame wall in Caribou High School for all to see and possibly inspire someone to reach for their dream when they see that he was simply a high school student with big dreams that through hard work and perseverance has put him where he is today.

15 year old Ryan Messer wins Late Model Sportsman division at Speedway 660 Opening Day . RYAN Motorsports photo

15 year old Ryan Messer from Harvey, New Brunswick, wins Late Model Sportsman division at Speedway 660 Opening Day . RYAN Motorsports photo

Ryan Motorsports driver Ryan Messer wasted no time this season showing he is one of the forces to contend with in Late Model Sportsman division at Speedway 660 in Geary Woods, He was followed to the line by 18 year old Drew Greenlaw of Eastport, Maine. This will be a battle with watching this season. RYAN Motorsports Robb Messer, crew chief and father of Ryan said, “Ryan sweeps opening day! We really couldn’t have asked for a better start to our season.  Ryan drew a good starting spot and powered to a Heat race win to put him on pole for the first feature of the season. After a couple cautions in the early going, Ryan and Drew Greenlaw broke away and raced lap after lap in each others wheel tracks. These 2 kids did a great job as Ryan lead wire to wire and scored the WIN!” County Kart Teams Successful in Southern Maine Team JRT Customs made it a three day racing weekend with their initial foray on a dirt track at Bartlett Bridge Raceway in Lyman, Maine Friday evening. From all reports the team enjoyed the track and competitors.

Team JRT driver damian Theriault of Caribou lines up in front of his grandfather Marcel Bosse in the #53 kart awaiting the start of racing at Bartlett Bridge Raceway. Team JRT photo

Team JRT driver #14 Damian Theriault of Caribou lines up in front of his grandfather Marcel Bosse in the #83 kart awaiting the start of racing at Bartlett Bridge Raceway. Team JRT photo

Damian finished 6th of 11 karts despite bending a spindle at the beginning of the feature.

On saturday Yeam JRT honed their road racing skills at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough. Team JRT photo

On Saturday Team JRT honed their road racing skills at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough. Team JRT photo

Team JRT driver Damian Theriault flashes the thumbs up after winning one of the feature races at Thundering Valley raceway in St. Albans Sunday afternoon.. Theriault placed second in the second feature. Team JRT photo

Team JRT driver Damian Theriault flashes the thumbs up after winning one of the feature races at Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans Sunday afternoon.. Theriault placed second in the other feature. Team JRT photo

Team BAS driver Bryan Searles, Presque Isle in middle won one of his two features. He placed second in his other. On left Mason Allen of Mapleton third, Searles, and Noah Alexander in second. This was the Junior Champ Kart class at Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans. Team BAS photo

Team BAS driver Bryan Searles, Presque Isle in middle won one of his two features. He placed second in his other. On left Mason Allen of Mapleton third, Searles, and Noah Alexander in second. This was the Junior Champ Kart class at Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans. Team BAS photo

Rain kept Austin Theriault from having a chance to qualify for Friday's Camping World truck race at Charlotte. Not only was the race postponed, the qualifying was washed out as well. Klexel8 photo

Rain kept Austin Theriault from having a chance to qualify for Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck race at Charlotte. Not only was the race postponed, the qualifying was washed out as well. Klexel8 photo

Austin Denied Chance to Race  The Facebook press release from Austin Theriault’s Charlotte race sponsor Klexel8 says it best, “Mother nature once again has shown us who’s the boss. Rain the last two days has brought racing activity here at Charlotte Motor Speedway nearly to a halt.” “When rain caused qualifying to be cancelled yesterday afternoon for the Camping World Truck Series Race it sadly ended the weekend for Austin Theriault and the No. 2 Brad Keselowski Racing Klixel8 Ford F-150. When qualifying is cancelled NASCAR rules set the race starting grid by practice speed and owner points.” “The No. 2 Truck had the speed, but not the owner points due to running only a part time schedule. Racing is like business. Participants need to be fast, but endurance and persistance are often the key that leads to success. Austin Theriault you have all three ingredients and the Klixel8 Team is proud to have a small part in your very bright future! Thank you Brad Keselowski Racing for building the best looking truck at Charlotte!” Theriault is back in action May 30 at the K & N Pro Series East ComServe Memorial Day Classic at Dominion Speedway Woodford, Virginia. Kody Swanson Four Days, Four Tough Races My friend Kody Swanson, living in Zionsville, Indiana, hopefully had a restful weekend because this week will be one of his busiest in 2016. USAC Silver Crown Champion for the last two seasons, Swanson’s driving talent is in great demand. He will be racing on dirt Thursday and Sunday.

2015 USAC Silver Crown Champion Kody Swanson #63 will be honored Friday night in downtown Indianapolis as part of the Performance Racing Industry Show. Paul Murphy photo

Kody Swanson in #63 at 2015 season finale. Paul Murphy photo

Swanon’s schedule: Thursday- Hoosier 100 at Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis Friday- Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway, Claremont, Indiana Saturday- The Little 500 at Anderson Speedway, Anderson, Indiana (500 laps on a banked quarter mile asphalt track) Sunday- Hensel Memorial at Fremont Speedway, Fremont, Ohio I will let you know how he does.

Canadian James Hinchcliffe on the pole for the 100th running of the Indy 500. Photo courtesy Honda Racing LAT

Canadian James Hinchcliffe on the pole for the 100th running of the Indy 500. Photo courtesy Honda Racing LAT

Hinchcliffe On the Pole Nearly losing his life last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when a suspension rod severed and artery in his left thigh after he slammed the wall in practice, James Hinchcliffe took the pole at this year’s 100th running of the Indy 500. In the Honda powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara turning a four lap average speed of 230.760 mph. Contrast this with Buddy Lazier’s 32nd fastest speed of 225.154 mph. Speeds as high as 240 mph were reported on the straights. It should be a good battle next Sunday since Honda seems to be running with the Chevrolet powered cars. I cannot imagine functioning at such speeds. By comparison the top speed motorcycles and cars at this spring’s Loring Timing Association’s Speed Trial were running about the same miles per hour alone on the wide runway. Imagine having thirty two of your “best friends” running side by side with you jockeying for position? WOW! Let’s go racing Tom Hale Soli Deo Gloria

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing.