Pageland native enjoys the fast life in NASCAR

FLORENCE — Brett Griffin lives life like the sport he works in — fast-paced.

The Pageland native and former two-sport athlete at Central High School is immersed in the NASCAR lifestyle. During the week, Griffin acts as business manager for Nationwide driver Elliott Sadler and the two also run a marketing company together.

On weekends, Griffin works as Sadler’s spotter in the Nationwide Series and began working as Jeff Burton’s spotter in the Sprint Cup Series this season.

“I remember a saying growing up, ‘If you find something you love and figure out a way to make money at it, you will never work a day in your life.’ That’s what I have been able to do,” Griffin said. “I work seven days a week a lot of weeks, but I have a lot of fun with it too.”

Griffin manages to have his share of fun, too. As a South Carolina alum and rabid Gamecocks fan, he attends several football, basketball and baseball games during the year.

Griffin is also a popular figure on Twitter, and has more than 10,000 followers. He took a break from it last summer at the urging of his wife.

“I was tweeting too much and my wife told me I would have to sleep with my phone or sleep with her. And I picked her,” he joked. “And we came to an agreement on when I can tweet and when I can’t. I really enjoy engaging the fans and ruffle some feathers a little bit.”

Griffin and his family spent this week in Myrtle Beach before coming to Darlington, a track he has been coming to since he was 4 years old. Griffin’s first race was the 1979 Southern 500, and he hasn’t missed too many since as a fan or with his job.

Griffin’s love of NASCAR landed him a job in the sport after graduating with a degree in business administration from South Carolina. He took a job in public relations working with Sadler and Michael Waltrip.

Griffin and Sadler struck up a friendship during his time as his PR and the driver asked him to be his business manager three years later. A few months later, Sadler asked Griffin to be his spotter about a month before the 2001 Daytona 500.

“I was a little bit nervous about spotting. I did a couple races with him when his regular spotter was out,” Griffin said. “But I made a deal with him. I told him if I suck as your spotter you won’t fire me as spotter and business manager on the same day.”

Griffin has grown comfortable up in the spotter stand and loves doing it because he likes to be around the competition side of the sport. He says the easiest track to spot at is Bristol, while the hardest is Pocono because of the various angles in the turn.

Griffin said spotting at Darlington is different now because the track’s surface is less abrasive so you don’t have to know which drivers might have been on old tires. But the speeds are faster, so Griffin has come close to winning at Darlington with Sadler, whose best finish was second in the 2002 spring race, and hopes that changes this weekend.

“I have been able to be a part of wins at every track I wanted to like Bristol and Daytona,” he said. “This is my Daytona 500 and I want to stand in Victory Lane either Friday or Saturday night. And I got two good shots at with Elliott and Jeff.”