RACING: McGriff was born ready - Tucson News Now

RACING: McGriff was born ready

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Mariah McGriff will be driving the #8 car Saturday night in the Summer Sizzle 100 at Tucson Speedway. Mariah McGriff will be driving the #8 car Saturday night in the Summer Sizzle 100 at Tucson Speedway.
VAIL, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Mariah McGriff just graduated from high school. And although the 18 year old never actually attended Pantano High School in Vail, she still got a score of excellent for her Senior Exit Project.

That project? She built her own stock racing car. I'd love to have seen what the other projects were.

McGriff is now racing that car in the Super Late Model series this summer out at Tucson Speedway. She competes in her 3rd race of the 2013 season Saturday night and has finished 2nd and 3rd in the first two runs of her initial season racing stock cars.

McGriff has brought an excellent resume to the Speedway this summer having won over 50 percent of her starts (24 wins) in just over four years of racing on the local KART circuit.

Her ultimate goal is to be the first woman to win a championship in one or all of the NASCAR's three elite divisions (Camping World Truck, Nationwide, Sprint Cup).

Mariah comes from a racing family. Her grandfather, Hershel Sr., has been heavily involved in NASCAR's K&N Pro-Series West Tour for years.

Both her mother and father were stock car drivers. Hershel Jr. started racing Sprint Cars at the age of 13 and won multiple stock car races on the west coast; he received NASCAR Northwest Tour Rookie of the Year in 1990, while mom Shelly  was the first woman on the west coast to win an Open Comp. Stock Car Championship at Eugene Speedway in 1988. 

McGriff's uncle Tex Powell was the founder/owner of Tex Racing Enterprises in North Carolina, a racing company that maintains and builds transmissions for most of the NASCAR teams. 

She plans to attend Pima Community College in the Fall and study Mechanical Engineering so that she can become more in tune with the cars she drives.

Not only is Mariah a winner on the track but also quite involved off as well. McGriff won the Laps for Life Fundraiser two years in a row; setting a World Record in 2009 with over 26 hours in a non-stop kart race. 

She has helped raise almost $200,000 for the UMC Foundation/Diamond Children's Hospital in Tucson, Arizona a place where she is regular visitor to speak to children who are battling cancer.

On the flip side, like all drivers in the racing industry, McGriff depends on sponsors to help fuel her career aspirations. If you're interested in getting on board and showing your financial support for this budding superstar, contact JR Industries at (520) 603-9682.

Career Highlights:

2011  Track Champion at Musselman Honda Circuit (Road-Course)/ Tag Sr.

2011  Tucson Kart Association (Dirt Oval)/ Sportsman Class-Burris Clone

2011  Winner of Championship Karting International's "Karting's Got Talent"

2010  Track Champion at Musselman Honda Circuit (Road-Course)/ Tag Sr.

2010  Runner-up Arizona State Championship (Road-Course)/ Tag Sr.

2009  3rd place in Championship - Southern Desert Karting Association (Road-Course)/ Tag Jr.

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