Hershel McGriff - age 90 - returns to NASCAR racing next month
Hershel McGriff’s more than 70-year racing career is not over just yet.
McGriff, who turned 90 years old in December, plans to compete in the May 5 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Arizona’s Tucson Speedway. He will drive the No. 04 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota prepared by Bill McAnally Racing.
McGriff – who holds numerous K&N West records – has accumulated 35 wins, 37 poles, 98 top-five and 144 top-10 finishes in 266 races on the circuit during a career that dates back to the first year of the series in 1954.
He holds the mark as the oldest winner in the series, with his last victory coming at the age of 61.
His last series start was on the road course of Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in 2012 at the age of 84.
“Who would turn down a free ride in a K&N car built by Bill McAnally Racing?” McGriff said. “Bill said to pick out a track anywhere on the West Coast that has a K&N race and that’s where we’ll race.
“Tucson’s my home. So, we decided on Tucson, although I haven’t run here that much. It’s going to be fun.”
McGriff said he wasn’t concerned about competing at his age. His racing career began when borrowed his father’s car to compete in a race at Portland Speedway in September 1945.
“I’ll be okay. When I get my helmet on, they won’t know who’s in there. They won’t know whether I’m 90 or 22,” the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee said. “They’ll be wondering who was in the car by the end of the race.”
The Tucson event will be a busy night for the family – with McGriff’s granddaughter, Mariah McGriff, competing in a Super Late Model division race and Hershel Jr., competing in an Outlaw Late Model race.
McGriff won’t be slowing down after the race, either.
“I fly out the next morning to Mount Pocono in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I’m in the Kyle Petty Charity Ride for the third year.”
He will miss the first ride’s two days, but will meet up with the group to begin the third day and finish out the fundraising motorcycle trip.
Todd Gilliland wins accident-filled K&N Pro Series race at Bristol
Tyler Dippel joins DGR-Crosley with eyes on K&N East title