Jake Griffin tackling JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour

January 27, 2013 14 Comments

The following is from Matt Prieur – Speed51.com Midwest Editor

When you think of a driver with a list of accomplishments such as 78 career feature wins, 381 top-five finishes, 556 top-10 finishes, eight track championships and a regional title, that’s enough for anyone’s entire racing career. When you hear that the driver is only 14 years old, chances are you’re going to do a double take.

Jake Griffin and his crew.

Quincy, Illinois teenager Jake Griffin has already accomplished more in his brief racing career than most drivers only dream of.  It’s not only on one surface either.  It doesn’t matter if it’s dirt or pavement, and in what type of race car it has been, Griffin has been successful.


Now he’ll take his talents to the next level up the short track racing ladder as the Prairie State driver has hired 2012 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Championship winning Car Owner and Crew Chief Scott Neal.  Together, they will make a run at the 2013 Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year title in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.

Griffin’s 2013 racing season kicks off with SpeedFest 2013 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia on January 25-27th where he’ll compete not only in the JEGS/CRA portion of the weekend in the Peach State, he’ll also race in the headlining event of the weekend, the 200-lap main event for the ARCA/CRA Super Series.

“We’re looking forward to the 2013 racing season,” said Griffin.  “We have an aggressive schedule planned out with running the entire JEGS/CRA schedule as well as a few ARCA/CRA Super Series races as well, the ones where both divisions are running together.”

Griffin made an appearance at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida back in November 2012 during the Governor’s Cup 200.  Just a day after celebrating his 14th birthday, he impressed everyone on hand with an impressive third-place showing in the Pro Late  Model portion of the weekend.

“It was our first time at the track and thanks to Scott Neal, we ran a great race,” added Griffin.

Neal, fresh off of his 2012 Championship run in JEGS/CRA with Series Champion Daniel Hemric, will house all of Griffin’s equipment in 2013 as well as serve as Team Manager during the season.  Once SpeedFest is completed, Neal, Griffin and the entire team will reshift their focus on the 47th annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing back at New Smyrna.

“Our expectations are high for Jake at SpeedFest,” said Neal.  “He will have a full plate all year and (Watermelon Capital Speedway) should fit him really well.  He is a shoe and he will have big shoes to fill, but I truly believe the kid is up to the challenge.  We are going to Speedweeks with Jake after that and we look forward to it.  I think he’s going to turn some heads.”

The 2012 racing season was a busy one for the 14-year-old old Griffin.  He ran a total of 150 Feature events and visited victory lane in 12 of those races while scoring an impressive 85 top-10 finishes.  Mixing in both pavement and dirt events, Griffin was the youngest driver in United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) history to win an UMP Super Late Model race at the age of 13.  Also, he was the youngest driver to win an UMP Modified Feature.

It was last season where Griffin also began his pavement career at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  He won the Rookie in the Year honors in both the Late Model and Modified Divisions. Also, he finished third in overall standings in both divisions and scored five feature wins.

With the addition of Neal to the team, Griffin brings  a wealth of knowledge to an entire team that is nearly unmatched.  Neal, a long-time competitor in what is now the ARCA/CRA Super Series and has one career win in the series to his credit,  will oversee Griffin’s entire operation and brings a list of credentials that are staggering.  Neal led Hemric to eight JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour victories and a runaway championship in 2012.  Hemric will be pursuing other opportunities in 2013, leaving Neal to pursue new avenues for himself and his Scott Neal Racing team.

“You know it’s a terrible thing that Daniel and I won’t be together this year, but as you can tell, things change.  This year we will continue Scott Neal Racing with more info to come very soon.  I’ll oversee set-up duties and crew chiefing the No. 08 for Jake (Griffin) in all of the shows where both divisions are racing together.  I’m looking forward to SpeedFest with both cars.”
Neal hopes to duplicate past accomplishments this season with a teenager from Quincy, Illinois. It’s not an impossible task, especially with such a young driver with such a bright future ahead of him.  If the past is any indication, the Griffin / Neal combination will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.
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  1. racer reality says:

    I think it’s great about Jake, the only thing that really confuses everyone is why does he count all of his racing in go carts and major victories and top 5 or 10 finishes. Lets stick to real race cars when it concerns racing like this. I’m sure there is a go cart blog somewhere on the net.

  2. not35fan says:

    Well jeff gordon and tony stewert count all there wins no matter what they were racing and look were it got them go jake

  3. Qcy Godfather says:

    2 things here 1. Jake never raced karts he raced Quarter Midgets growing up. 2. When you are talking racing this how KARTS are spelled. Now lets hear what you have accomplished.

  4. WOODPILE says:

    I WONDER HOW MANY OF THOSE STATS INCLUDE BIG WHEEL RACES IN THE CULDESAC ??? I FULLY AGREE WITH RACER REALITY ON THIS…………….

  5. alan stock says:

    I had the plesure of watching Jake earn alot these victories.Go to a quarter midget regional event and see what these kids can do. Also do some history qmids.you might be surprised.

  6. Quincyracing says:

    Reality is This weekend Jake Griffin ran the 3rd fastest lap all weekend in the Arca super series turned faster times than Chase Elliot ,John Hunter Nemacheck, nascar Sprint cup regular David Ragan,Snowball champion Erik Jones, Johnny Sauter, Travis Sauter tj reid truck regular ,Mike Garvey and 25 or 30 of the best Arca LateModels drivers and all of them count every race hey have won with a motor . With your rules Travis pastruna wouldn’t count his multiple wins in motor cross ? Use what stats you about how many drivers have won a late model and Mod race in the season much less the same month. Haters will be Haters .Dont Take it out on Jake if you don’t like me.Dan Griffin

  7. GMF says:

    Gee hate much!! Why not be proud of the lil fireball and what all he is doing at 14…. I think its great to hear what others are doing outside of the bullring… Dont be a Hater tator… just sayin’

  8. SKIPP says:

    HAFTA ADMIT, NEVER HAVE BEEN MUCH OF A DAN GRIFFIN FAN, OR JAKE FOR THAT MATTER (AT FIRST)
    BUT, MYSELF AND A GOOD HANDFULL OF SPECTATORS ARE DUE FOR A “BITING OF THE TOUNGUE” BEFORE TOO LONG,
    IM SLOWLY BECOMING A BIT OF A “CLOSET” JAKE08 FAN. I HAVE A LOT OF GOOD FRIENDS OUT THERE, THAT, A COUPLE YEARS AGO, IT WAS THE DUNCE TROPHY WHEN THE YOUNGSTER BEAT EM … LATELY ITS BEEN “JAKE WITH ANOTHER TOP 5″..(AND THESE FRIENDS OF MINE ARE SOME HAMMER DOWN BAD-ASSES ON A RACE TRACK)
    INSTEAD OF HOLDING ON TO “WHAT WAS” , MEANING, A TIMID 12 YEAR OLD 2 YEARS AGO BEING IN THE WAY OF OUR FAVORITES, SIT BACK AND THINK OF WHAT THIS KID IS DOING …
    LOOKING AT THEIR SCHEDULE FOR 2013, THIS DUDE RUNNIN THE LIKES OF 200 RACES ….200!!!!!
    CAN ANY OF YOU EVEN FATHOM THE DEDICATION IT TAKES TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT, ???
    IVE ONLY TALKED TO JAKE ONE TIME (FOR MAYBE 5 MINUTES) .. I HAVE 5 KIDS MYSELF, 2 OF WHICG ARE HIS AGE, AND IVE SEEN A LOOK IN THEIR EYES WHEN THEY’RE WARMING UP FOR A BASEBALL GAME, PACKING THERES BOWS FOR A HUNTING WEEKEND, OR LOOSENING UP FOR THE 110 HURDLES … AND I TELL YA, JAKE HAS THAT LOOK WHEN HES STARING AT A DIRT “CUL-DE-SAC” , ITS THAT “DAMM, I REALLY LOVE THIS (stuff)” LOOK. ! ! ! ! . THE EXCITEMENT IN HIS VOICE STANDS ALONE

    BUT, ANYWAY, I’LL SHUT UP, MY HATS OFF TO YOU JAKE, GOOD LUCK YOUNG MAN FROM SKIPP AND THE BOYS. !!!!!
    DO US A FAVOR, IF OR WHEN, YOU CLIMB YER ASS INTO A CAMPING WORLD TRUCK, OR A NATIONWIDE CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME …. LOOK INTO THE SPEEDCHANNEL CAMERA AND SAY
    “YO WOODPILE …….. SABK PAL”
    .
    GOOD LUCK THIS YEAR, FIREBALL AND CREW
    .
    SKIPP DUNKER

  9. Marisa Roach says:

    Well said Skipp! Go get ‘em kid!!!

  10. chuck ancell says:

    I THINK HE STARTED 20TH IN THE SUPER RACE AND WAS UP TO 5TH WHEN HE HAD TO PULL IN WITH A OVERHEATED ENGINE. GO JAKE GOOD LUCK IN FL.

  11. not35fan says:

    Jake the 1st 1 to make it to the big time from q town go get them kid dnt 4get what town you come from tho

  12. KENNY PRATT says:

    DIRT, NASCAR HAS LOWERED THE AGE FOR THE TRUCK SERIES TO 16. I’D SAY THAT COULD BE A GREAT STEPPING STONE FOR “FIRE-BALL” .
    BEST WISHES JAKE……………

    KP

  13. Billy Tournear says:

    Last year I had the pleasure of joining Jake Griffin Racing back in May as a crew member. From the time I joined them till the end of the season, I myself had seen a huge change in the youngster. He became very smart on how the cars were reacting and as to what changes he wanted us to make. Him and Tony Warner have awesome communication with each other on the dirt side. From what I am hearing Jake and Scott have the same excellent communication on the asphalt side. Jake is a very fast and up coming star. The kid has a dream and from what I can tell as a crew member he has his goals set and is out to reach those goals. Now as for all his stats, I myself think that is truly amazing. The kid has been racing since 5 or 6 and is now only 14 with all those stats!!! Don’t take away from him what he has already accomplished and what is still to come!!! The kid has talent and yes some people harass the “Older Guys” when Jake beats them, but ya know that is just racing boys. My red headed Step Son, as I call him, keep your head up and moving forward!! Don’t let the haters get ya down and show them you boy are for real!!!! Bring on the dirt season!!!

  14. just a fan says:

    That’s fantastic for Lil Jake! Congrats kid! A schedule like that and homework he’s probably gonna need a hair guy. He’s a pretty neat kid and will go far, was smart enough to give Billy stix so he’d stay off his phone during a race! ;-)

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