Kyle Busch Motorsports‘ multi-driver #51 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro will have a dirt ace as its pilot for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series‘ dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway on 16 April. On Thursday, the team announced Michael “Buddy” Kofoid will drive the #51 in his maiden NASCAR start.
2021 saw Kofoid win the United States Auto Club (USAC) quarter midget national championship through a six-win campaign, as well as winning the USAC Indiana Midget Week. Other race victories came in the Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget Series and the Wild Wing Shootout. A member of Toyota Racing, he also ran ten late mode races which included finishing third in the prestigious All American 400‘s Pro Late Model division.
Four rounds into the 2022 USAC national midget season, he sits second in points. In January, Kofoid won a qualifying race in the legendary Chili Bowl Nationals after holding off dirt star and reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, and he went on to finish fourth in the A Main. The run was his third in the Chili Bowl and his best performance after falling short of the A Main in 2020 and 2021.
“Getting the opportunity to race the best equipment in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a huge step in my career and I can’t thank Kyle Busch Motorsports, (sponsor) Mobil 1 and Toyota enough for giving me this chance,” commented Kofoid. “To be making my Truck Series début in such a unique event at an iconic venue like Bristol Motor Speedway is going to be really cool.”
Kofoid’s truck has the chassis (KBM-12) that Martin Truex Jr. drove to victory in the inaugural Bristol Dirt Truck race last year. KBM also has two wins in the dirt at Eldora Speedway courtesy of Bubba Wallace (2014) and Christopher Bell (2015).
It was not immediately announced if Kofoid will run the other Truck dirt event at Knoxville Raceway on 18 June. KBM had five-time Knoxville champion Brian Brown in the #51 for the 2021 race, where he finished eighth.
The #51 is being driven by Corey Heim for fifteen of the twenty-three races in 2021, while team owner Kyle Busch will run his annual five-race slate. Heim won at Atlanta in early March, and the entry is currently fourth in owner points.