When Hershel McGriff, the oldest and most winning active NASCAR competitor was born in December 1927, NASCAR wasn’t the big sport it is today, but that didn’t stop him from doing what he was born to do – race.

At the young age of 17, McGriff began racing stock cars. In his first race at Portland Speedway, he finished 12th. His father, who was a minister, wasn’t too keen on watching his son race. After the first lap of his first race, his father planted himself underneath the bleachers where he prayed throughout the 250 lap muddy race.

Since that day, McGriff has raced in 240 NASCAR West Series starts. He has come out with 35 wins and 145 top-ten finishes. In addition, he has earned awards as:

  • Most Popular Driver 12 consecutive years from 1981 – 1992
  • NASCAR Award of Excellence in 1994
  • One of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers of 1998

He has also been inducted into the following halls of fame:

  • Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
  • West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame
  • Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  • Arizona Sports Hall of Fame

His latest nomination is for the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame.

His impressive record and reputation has earned him great respect among NASCAR fans. Perhaps the most notable fan to look up to McGriff is his granddaughter, Mariah McGriff.

Mariah McGriff has followed in her grandfather’s footsteps. After building her own car, she has become a well-known face at Tucson Speedway.

This weekend, the family will race again at Tucson Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series – NAPA Wildcat 150.

Friday, May 1, gates open to the public at 5:00 p.m. to watch the drivers practice on the track. If you purchase your tickets by April 30, you can get the ticket to the practice session free of charge.

Friday, May 2, gates open to the public at 4:00 p.m. when drivers will take to the track to qualify for the K&N Pro Series West. At 7:00 p.m., pro stocks, modified and the hornets will race. Then, at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m., the K&N Pro Series West drivers will compete in the NAPA Wildcat 150.

The purse for this race is the largest in Southern Arizona history with over $101,000 for the 24 car field. With that on the line, many other notable drivers have decided to join too, including Nicole Behar, the highest finishing female in West Series history.

With so many famous drivers making an appearance on the track, this is a race that you won’t want to miss.

And don’t forget your $5 off admission coupon for Saturday’s excitement at Tucson Speedway!

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Lucretia Free