In the Pits with Lance Griffith
Lance Griffith transitioned from teeing off on the golf course to speeding behind the wheel, immersing himself in the world of racing. Raised in Concord, NC, he developed a passion for racing at an early age, thanks to his grandfather, Jimmy Griffith. Jimmy played a pivotal role in Lance's entire life, whether it be behind a golf ball or behind a wheel. Currently serving as a development driver for Reaume Brothers Racing, Lance aspires to maintain a presence in the racing scene, whether it be behind the wheel or behind the camera. Lance would like to dedicate this interview to his late grandfather, Jimmy.
Hometown: Concord, NC
Team: Reaume Brothers Racing
1. Where did you attend college?
I got an opportunity to play college golf at Pfeiffer University. After a successful first semester, I broke my back. Sounds crazy to do while golfing, I know, but it set me on a path I never saw coming. I finished that first year out pretty early and then took some time, came home and evaluated what I wanted to do. I then found a home at Queen's University down in South Charlotte and that's where I finished my college degree, majoring in sports management.
2. What is something that not many people know about you?
I'm left-handed! That was definitely shown during my first start in a Legend Car. I also can sing and play virtually any musical instrument that you give me. My mom has a natural musical ability and I was lucky to get it.
3. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
I'll say a koala. They're cute, fluffy, and always have a bird's eye view of everything going on around them.
4. If you could sit at a dinner table with two people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My great-grandfather on my mom's side and Ronald Reagan. Both have stories to carry us through dessert, and their life lessons beat any main course.
5. The mountains or the beach?
100% the mountains, just being outside in the mountains is so much fun to me. The beach is always hot and I don't do well in the cold. It’s important to have that perfect medium.
6. Where do you work?
I am the social media coordinator and the content creator for Reaume Brothers Racing. We are a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series organization that fields two entries, one full-time, one part-time. I also do some simulation for the team, as well as being a part of their driver development program.
7. Did you grow up interested in racing?
I've always been a race fan. My first memories as a small child consist of watching the NASCAR races with my great-grandfather on their Zenith in the living room.
8. How did you get into racing?
I've always been a race fan, I just knew realistically that the odds were stacked against me just to climb in a race car. I found an outlet to be at the track by carrying a camera around, and I found a passion there I was willing to stick with. Life kept going, and led me to the golf course. I accepted the fact once I got good at golf, that it was never gonna happen. After my injury, however, things took a turn. I was in the midst of coordinating social media efforts for Joe Ryan Race Cars when I met my best friend, Evan. He could tell that I was itching to get behind the wheel, so he made the statement, “Hey, I really want to get you behind the wheel, let’s make it happen”. From there, it was on. Hours and hours of scrolling on Facebook Marketplace led me to the Northeast, where a beautiful 2005 Legend Car was sitting in New Hampshire that was perfectly in my price range. A conversation took off from there. That Tuesday, I went and rented a U-Haul, and that Wednesday morning I drove with Evan from here in North Carolina to Manchester, New Hampshire and back, all in under 30 hours!
9. What is something that racing has taught you in your everyday life?
Never quit. You're never done until it's done. I replay the (Summer) Shootout in my head because that's really all that I can remember from being in the car regularly and that was the best competition I was around all season. I was able to progress every single week, and that’s all I could ask for. I was qualifying 29th out of 31 cars week in and week out but I understood the reality of that aspect and I knew that I was still getting better for it being my first Summer Shootout.
10. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My grandpa. He didn’t have the best childhood by far, and found a home in an unsuspecting place, similar to how I have felt at the race track. After serving in the military during the Vietnam War, he entered the tire business, where he stayed for 50 plus years. In fact, he used to sell Legend Car tires back during the BF-Goodrich days!
11. What do you love most about racing?
The family aspect of racing is what brings me back every time. Being able to go to the racetrack and be able to talk to anybody and everybody and not have anybody look at you based on your past is a special feeling. Not just my best friend, but the majority of new friends I have came from racing.
12. Can you tell us about your experience at the 2023 Summer Shootout?
The 2023 Summer Shootout was an invaluable learning experience. Opening practice were my first laps at the quarter mile, so I knew I had a challenge. My whole goal was to get as many laps as possible and gain as much valuable seat time as I could, and all my goals were met. Going into round 9, I felt the most speed I had all summer, but all that changed in turn 2. A wrong tap at the wrong angle sent me flying, barrel rolling three times through the corner, ultimately coming to rest on my roof, ending my Summer Shootout early and in a dramatic way. It was truly awe-inspiring just to turn laps at such a storied facility, let alone to race there. From my first Summer Shootout on a crew in 2013 to my first behind the wheel in 2023, no event can compare to the Summer Shootout.
13. What track would you like to race at one day?
I would love to run at East Bay but they're unfortunately closing at the end of the year. I'm a big dirt guy, I love watching dirt racing. I think those guys are absolute heroes and their abilities behind the wheel of a vehicle are superhuman.
14. Other than Legend Cars, what else do you drive?
I bought a micro sprint a couple weeks after the flip and I'm building it up. I'm gonna go race at Millbridge, and take the North Carolina micro circuit and just have fun with it. This is a true passion for me. If I get that break, then I'm gonna take it and see what I can do. I'm never going to give up trying.
15. What have you learned from racing?
I've began to understand that there is more to life than being behind the wheel of a race car. As obsessive as all race car drivers are about being in a car as much as possible, being able to learn what I have with the mechanical aspect of it and the setup aspect of it is just as important. I can confidently say my mechanical knowledge has ten folded thanks to Legend Cars. I've been able to transfer some of the knowledge I’ve picked up on the short tracks over to the NASCAR side and gain some consistency in our program.
16. What are your goals for the 2024 season?
Just to get more laps and to learn something new every time I'm on the racetrack. I don't come from a lot of laps, so I gotta take what I hear from my other competitors and friends that have done it a little bit before me. I just completed my first year, and I've still got a lot to learn. I just want to take as much knowledge as I possibly can and just understand how this sport works to the point in which I could explain it to a kindergarten class at my elementary school and they understand it.
17. What are your goals as far as your career?
I just want to be in racing somewhere. I just love the sport so much and what it has to offer for everybody. Every aspect of life is shown at the race track, and I want to keep showcasing that throughout my career, behind the wheel or behind the lens.
18. What you do as a development driver for Reaume Brothers Racing?
I came on board two seasons ago with the initial goal of making social media better, and an opportunity to showcase what I could do behind the wheel happened throughout the middle of 2022. Josh (Reaume) was incredibly supportive from the beginning, and the whole team wanted to be a part of it. I’m honored to be able to carry Reaume Brothers Racing with me to each event. The amount of gratitude that Josh has to give people opportunities is next to none. We pride ourselves on being the most diverse team in NASCAR.