Derek Griffith made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut Friday night, piloting the No. 51 JBL/Hudson Speedway Toyota Tundra at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Nearing the end of Stage One, Griffith spun out and got into the wall in Turn 1, bringing out the third caution of the race. The contact resulted in damage to the back end of the No. 51 JBL/Hudson Speedway Tundra that the crew would be forced to work on during pit stops throughout the remainder of the race.
During Stage Two, damage from the earlier wreck would cause more problems for the No. 51 team as they spent six laps behind the pit wall, fixing a fuel pressure issue. The crew was able to resolve the issue, sending Griffith back out on to the track. After starting the final stage in the 33rd position, Griffith was able to work his way back up the scoring and would finish his debut with a 26th-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Griffith began the race in the 11th position on the inside lane next to Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chandler Smith.
- With just 15 laps remaining in the opening stage, Griffith lost control of the No. 51 Tundra and got into the wall in Turn 1, causing damage to the rear end that would set the team back multiple laps.
- The New Hampshire native would ultimately finish Stage One in the 31st position.
Stage Two Recap:
- The No. 51 team would continue to work on the JBL/Hudson Speedway Tundra during the controlled pit stop before heading out for Stage Two.
- Just eight laps into Stage Two, a power outage occurred at the track causing a 48-minute red flag delay.
- Nearing the end of the second stage, Griffith communicated to his team that he had no fuel pressure and would bring the No. 51 Tundra back down pit road.
- The team would assess the damage from the earlier wreck and spend six laps behind the pit wall before sending Griffith back out on to the track for the end of the stage.
- Griffith would come across the start-finish line in the 33rd position at the end of the second stanza.
Final Stage Recap:
- Griffith would continue to work throughout the final stage to get everything he could out of his No 51. JBL/Hudson Speedway Toyota.
- Following a caution on lap 112, Griffith restarted 32nd in the outside lane before working his way back up the scoring.
- Despite the damage sustained from earlier in the race, Griffith would finish his Camping World Truck Series debut in the 26th position.
Toyota 200 presented by CK Power Recap:
- Sheldon Creed picked up the win in the first race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs, leading 142 out of 163 laps. Creed beat out playoff contenders Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen followed by Johnny Sauter to round out the top-five.
- There were eight cautions for 37 laps, including a 48-minute red flag period for a power outage at the track. There were five lead changes among three drivers.
How Griffith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 22nd.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 28th.
Camping World Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:
After the first race of the NASCAR playoffs, the No. 51 team sits just above cutoff line in the owner’s championship standings with 2017 points.
The No. 51 will be back in action when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sunday, September 5. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 1:30 p.m. ET.