Story By: TRISHA WESTFALL / SAM HUNT RACING – MOORESVILLE, NC – Sam Hunt Racing (SHR) announced today that Derek Griffith, a 25-year-old New Hampshire native, will make his NXS debut in the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra in the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond Raceway.
The 250-lap race at the .75-mile D-shaped oval will be the first of multiple races Griffith has signed with Sam Hunt Racing in 2022. SHR previously announced Griffith in the No. 26 at Martinsville Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
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. Griffith competed in the Pro All-Star Series Inaugural Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway — a 75-lap Super Late Model event that was held at the track in 2019 — where he finished 7th.
“I’m pumped,” Griffith said. “It fits into my wheelhouse perfectly. It’s the home-track for Sam Hunt Racing, and it’s a short-track, which makes it almost like a double-whammy for us. I’ve run at Richmond before in the Super Late Model and we had a good run. Working with everyone at Sam Hunt Racing has been awesome. We had the opportunity to visit with the team in Las Vegas and I feel like seeing how everything works and that experience as a whole is going to help us right away.”
SHR is ready to head back to its home-track of Richmond Raceway with short track ace Derek Griffith. In 2021, the team shocked the industry with a career-high third place finish with driver John Hunter Nemechek. The team is on a hot streak so far in 2022 with one top-5 finish and four top-15 finishes.
“Richmond is and will always be an extremely special place for me,” Sam Hunt said. “Not only is it home, but our third place finish there in 2021 marks the highest finish for SHR to date. Heading there with a rookie — Derek Griffith making his first career start — is different, but still equally as special for me. I have no doubt in my mind that he will quickly learn these cars and be a competitive force by the end of the race. Anytime we get to compete in front of our friends, family, and fanbase is really special.”
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.
Griffith’s long-time supporters at Hudson Speedway will partner up with Griffith throughout his multi-race campaign. Griffith’s remaining races will be announced at a later date.