Derek Griffith has signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports for his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series début. On Thursday, KBM announced Griffith will drive the #51 Toyota Tundra at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on 20 August with sponsorship from JBL and his home track Hudson International Speedway in Hudson, New Hampshire.
The 24-year-old’s career is mainly in late models and short tracks, winning the Pro All Stars Series national championship in 2018, the World Series of Asphalt titles in 2020 and 2021, and regularly competing in the prestigious Snowball Derby. Last year, he began racing in the ARCA Menards Series and its ARCA East counterpart. Running eight races in the former for Chad Bryant Racing, he scored top tens in all but one start with a best finish of third at Kansas. In the East Series, he won the pole and finished runner-up in his maiden race.
“Derek has proven himself as one of the top young talents in Super Late Model racing in recent years, has been very competitive in his limited ARCA opportunities and is deserving of the opportunity the chance to make a start in the Camping World Truck Series,” said team owner Kyle Busch. “As a Super Late Model racer myself, I know that to win some of the races he’s been able to win the last few years, he’s had to beat some of the best drivers in the country. Many of those drivers have the talent to compete at the national series level but never get the chance, so to be providing Derek with this opportunity is really special and I know that he’ll do a great job for us.”
Griffith joined the Toyota camp in 2021 as he began a limited ARCA national series schedule with Venturini Motorsports. After being caught in a wreck in the season opener, he finished fifth at Kansas in his second and most recent start to date. Venturini team-mates Drew Dollar and Corey Heim, the latter the current ARCA points leader, also made their Truck débuts in KBM’s #51 earlier in the year, as did part-timer/road course ringer Parker Chase.
“While Kyle has built KBM into the best team in the history of the Truck Series, I know that he still holds Super Late Model racers around the country in high regard and he’s given guys like Erik Jones, Harrison Burton, and Chandler Smith a chance to showcase their skills at the national series level,” Griffith stated. Smith will be one of his team-mates for the Gateway event. “I’m thankful to Kyle, everyone at KBM and Toyota Racing Development for this once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m looking forward to making the best I can out of it.”
Hudson Speedway owner Ben Bosowski added he is “beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to help Derek Griffith race in the Camping World Truck Series. As a small, local track, it is a true honor to help a local Hudson Speedway native reach his potential in the world of racing. Derek is an amazing, passionate, and talented young driver who absolutely deserves this opportunity. I am very excited to help be a part of this next stage in his career. I wish Derek nothing but the absolute best. All of us at Hudson International Speedway are very much looking forward to cheering him on.”
The team’s multi-driver truck, KBM’s #51 is fourth in owner points with three wins. Two victories are from Busch, while the third is courtesy of Martin Truex Jr.; both drivers are Cho Series regulars. Brian Brown, also a Truck newcomer, will pilot the #51 in the upcoming race at Knoxville.