19-year-old Parker Chase will race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the first time, and for a familiar face. On Monday, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced they have signed Chase to drive the #51 Toyota Tundra in Friday’s race on the Daytona road course and at Circuit of the Americas in May. Chase and KBM’s owner Kyle Busch were team-mates in the 2020 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
“I’m really looking forward to making my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series début at the Daytona Road Course this week,” Chase stated in a team release. “KBM is a race-winning organisation and I am hoping to put my experience at Daytona to good use in their equipment. I have been able to spend some time working with the guys in the shop in preparation for these events and we are ready to get started. Vertical Bridge and Tige Boats have come on board to support the effort and I am ready to represent them at Daytona and Circuit of the Americas.”
Chase competes full-time in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR class for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian, a series that he first entered in 2017. His 2021 MPC season began with a thirtieth-overall and ninth-class finish at Daytona alongside defending TCR champion Ryan Norman. He won the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GT Pro-Am championship in 2018, and was a Ginetta factory driver during his time in the series.
In 2020, Chase connected with Busch at AIM Vasser Sullivan (AIM has since departed the team) for the Rolex 24 Hours; then the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion, Busch was running the endurance race for the first time in his career. Joined by Jack Hawksworth—who has also run a road course race in NASCAR for Toyota—and Michael de Quesada, the car finished twenty-sixth overall and ninth in the GTD class.
COTA, a new addition to the NASCAR schedule, was the site of the Texas native’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship début in 2017. Driving for The Racer’s Group (a former NASCAR team) alongside PWC team-mate and fellow WTSCC newcomer Harry Gotsacker, he finished twenty-ninth overall and sixteenth in GTD. Two years later, he would race in the 2019 WTSCC for Starworks Motorsport and end the season nineteenth in GTD points.
While his resume is mainly concentrated in sports cars, he began dabbling in stock cars during the 2020 season. In August, he competed in the ARCA Menards Series race on the Daytona RC for Chad Bryant Racing, where he finished tenth after starting eighth; while a layout he is familiar with thanks to sports car racing, the stock car configuration includes a chicane coming to the start/finish line. Chase also recorded top tens in a NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series late model at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“Not being able to get any actual practice time prior to making his first Camping World Truck Series start isn’t an ideal situation for Parker, but he put the effort in to come to North Carolina a few weeks ago,” #51 crew chief Mardy Lindley said. “We were able to get him some time on the Toyota Racing Simulator, and he was also able to do some live pit stop practice. He’s got some experience on the Daytona Road Course the last few years, the ARCA Menards race last year where he ran inside the top five for a lot of the race before finishing tenth. We’re confident that he can have a solid run and be right in the mix for us on Friday, and then we will build on that at COTA when there will be practice and qualifying before that race.”
The #51 serves as KBM’s multi-driver truck while John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith respectively pilot the full-time #4 and #18. In last Friday’s season opener on the Daytona oval, Drew Dollar finished tenth in his first career Truck start. Busch is also scheduled to run five races in the #51 beginning at Las Vegas in March. In 2020, the #51 finished sixth in the owners’ points with four wins (three by Busch, one by Brandon Jones). Alex Tagliani drove the truck at the Daytona RC, where he finished twenty-second.
It was not revealed if Chase will also run the other Truck Series road course races at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He finished twelfth in class with Starworks at the former during the 2019 WTSCC, while he notched a runner-up finish in the 2016 PWC GTS second round at the latter.