Mariah McGriff

Mariah - 1Have you ever been to our local Nascar race track, Tucson Speedway? Chances are you have seen one of our local rockstar drivers, Mariah McGriff. Mariah’s story is deeply rooted in Vail. With an education in the Vail Unified School District and Andrada Polytechnic High School as birth spot for her first Nascar race car (which she built herself), Mariah has Vail-Pride written all over her story. 

She’s also the granddaughter to someone pretty famous!

Here’s her story in her own words:

1. Tell us a little bit about your background in Vail.

I moved to Vail 11 years ago for my dads job and jumped into the 4th quarter of 3rd grade at Sycamore Elementary.  I ended up with the same teacher for my 4th grade year and he completely changed my outlook on education: ever since I have carried all A’s into college.  Then I went to Corona Foothills Middle School until I started online high school through Vail Academy and High School in order to travel with my grandfather’s racing and be able to jump ahead in school.  I finished high school 6 months early and started college the same summer.  I love it in Vail because it is very open with property, it’s quiet, and it has the small community mentality compared to the big city.

2. I understand you have a relative who was very involved in the racing scene. Is he your inspiration to get started in the world of racing?

I have multiple relatives that are involved in racing; my grandpa Hershel, all of my uncles, both of my parents, and even my aunts.  This contributed to my initial education on racing, but I personally developed my own passion for racing. I love multiple aspects of the industry from the fabrication to the driving (of course)!

3. Tell us about your car.

Most people in Vail area are aware of the Vail School Districts required Senior Exit Project in order to graduate.  I was personally lucky enjoy to have began building my racecar my Senior Year; therefore, using it as my Senior Exit Project.  My car is a Victory Circle chassis with a Ford Fusion body and Chevrolet 358 engine.  I helped my dad and brother fabricate it from the bare chassis to a finished racecar.  Furthermore, I helped my engine man build my motor.

4. Off the race track, what are some of your favorite hobbies?

My time is very consumed with being a full-time student and a nanny of an infant: but in my free time I enjoy being with my family, going to the gym, and shooting my bow and arrow.

5. What are your 3 favorite things about the Vail area?

My favorite things about the Vail area would definitely be the Vail School District and Argenzianos Restaurant.  In addition, I love that people have more property to themselves with less “city rush.”

6. When family visits, where do you like to take them?

When family or friends visit, some of our favorite places to take them are: Argenzianos Restaurant, Montgomerys Bar and Grill, Reid Park Zoo, Tucson Speedway, Musselman Honda Circuit, Tombstone, and play putt-putt golf at Golf N’ Stuff.

7. When is your next race so that the fans can come cheer you on?

Unfortunately, as of right now, I am not sure when my next race will be.  I am currently seeking sponsorship in order to determine my next race.

About author View all posts

Lucretia Free