Story By: TRISHA WESTFALL / SAM HUNT RACING – MOORESVILLE, NC – Sam Hunt Racing (SHR) announced today that Derek Griffith, a 24-year-old New Hampshire native, will pilot the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra for multiple races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) in 2022 starting at Martinsville Speedway on Friday, April 8.
Hudson Speedway, the track that Griffith began his career, will partner with Griffith and SHR in various capacities throughout the campaign — including primary sponsorship at Griffith’s home track of New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.
Griffith, a super late model star, is looking forward to adding to his NASCAR National Touring Series career. In 2021, Griffith made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park. Additionally, he has 10 ARCA Menards Series starts where he collected three top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” Griffith said. “I thought after running in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last year that it would be the peak of my career, but to get together with Sam Hunt Racing, it’s going to help elevate me to new levels. It’s just perfect timing for me. I’ve been working hard to try and get something together since the end of 2021 and keep the ball rolling. I had the opportunity to race a lot last year, but it’s hard to get into a rhythm with just one or two races at a higher-level. Sam Hunt Racing wanted me to race for them just as much as I wanted to race for them. Everything fell right into place for us. I’ve heard some great things about Sam and his team — everything seems in line for them to be successful. Sam is really excited about having me on board to try and build a future.”
SHR began its journey in the NXS in late 2019 by making its first start in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team shocked the industry with its speed after qualifying 15th in its first attempt. The 2020 NXS season was a part-time effort for the team as it began to expand and grow. In 2021, SHR hosted eight drivers of various skill-level in its first full-time season, racking up one Top-5, two Top-10, and nine top-15 finishes.
“Derek is a special talent and a true racer. His short track success across the country speaks for itself, and he’s someone that is extremely deserving of a shot to compete in the Xfinity Series,” said Sam Hunt. “He builds his own race cars back home, works a full time job, and is really a testimony to hard work and doing things right. He will fit in perfectly at SHR, and we’re ready to make the state of New Hampshire proud.”
Griffith, who began his racing career at the age of 12, became a quick study of some of his local short-tracks in New England, including Hudson Speedway, capturing checkered flags early in his career. From local, short-track racing to the NASCAR National Series divisions, Griffith continues to showcase his ability. Griffith is a multi-time champion of New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, is a Pro All Star Series National Division Champion, member of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program and a former top-pick in the Speed51 — now known as Racing America — Short Track Draft.
“Derek’s driving speaks for itself,” said Ben Bosowski, owner of Hudson Speedway. “It’s all a Cinderella type story. The hometown kid goes to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with his hometown track on the side of the car as his sponsor. It’s one of those stories that you don’t hear much out there anymore. Very rarely do all of the pieces come together like this. It will be a great moment for all of us.”
Griffith’s remaining races will be announced at a later date.