Young And Hungry

January 2022 Feature Seth Harper

This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue.

A 90s model gas Chevy with a Range Rover kit for the grille and a custom paint job sits in a Florida shop. It’s the first truck that young Joseph Pitts ever had a say in and it hooked him to the lifestyle. His father was forced to sell it due to a lack of airbags, but he promised Joseph he’d buy him another one.

Fast forward a few years and Joseph (Instagram: @josephpitts00) has accomplished a lot for a 21-year-old. He’s the president of a vehicle club in Tennessee (@next_level_creations_), he works for a water utility company fixing main waterline breaks and he’s built up his 2015 GMC Denali 2500HD in a nice way.

Something To Show Off

Joseph got his GMC about two years ago. It’s his first personal diesel build and he doesn’t think he’ll ever go back to a gasser. As for his idea behind the build, it was simple: be different.

“My goal was to always have something different than everyone else,” he said. “I’ve seen what everyone else did and I took what they had and changed it and made it my own. There are some things you can’t change but anything I can change I try to do.”

Upgrades Joseph feels sets apart his diesel from others are his shorter, 50-inch traction bars and the spikes he put on the bolt heads of his Kryptonite upper control arms. He also has it tuned with EFILive, beefed up with FOX reservoir shocks and he installed a full HSP Diesel intake kit powder-coated in illusion blueberry. That comes with a hot side and a cold side, a turbo mouth piece, intake with a HSP filter, coolant pipe, y-bridge and down pipe.

The upper control arms, sway bar, torsion bars, torsion keys, u bolts, spindles, and rear bumper hitch and hitch adapter, were also all powder-coated illusion and were torn out and re-installed by Joseph and his family at his dad’s shop, Freedom Service Solutions, in Nashville, Tenn.

It has chrome 26x12 AXE Nemesis wheels with 35x13.50r26 Venom Power tires, along with 4.5-inch spikes from Venum Wheel Accessories.

It also has a leveling kit but at shows he often gets asked how big his lift is. Joseph simply responds, “What lift?”

“I’ve had a bunch of people tell me that you can do it,” he said, “but it’s not going to be drivable. ‘You’re not going to be able to do 26s with 35s with square benders.’ Once people realize that, it’s the biggest shock.”

What’s Next?

“If people doubt what you have in mind, don’t let them crush your dreams or imagination,” Joseph added.

Joseph dreams of creating custom traction bars as well as installing head studs, a turbo, custom tunes and a rebuilt transmission. He also wants a custom bed liner with blue flake, some sort of bed audio, true train horns and then to brighten things up he’ll add rock lights under the truck and hood, and possibly even some wheel lights.

Show Life

This Denali doesn’t see the road too often. Joseph takes it to shows, or on the occasional Starbucks run with his girlfriend. On Joseph’s first trip to Rocky Mountain Diesel Shootout he won best GM. He appreciated that win because the voters were those in the show ‘n shine contest. It wasn’t a trophy coming from a panel of experts; it was validation from his peers.

“I’m not in it for the trophies,” Joseph explained. “The trophies are awesome but I want people to enjoy it as much as I do. It’s getting everybody’s reactions and getting to talk to everybody about it. I’ve had guys come up to me who are younger and say, ‘hey this is my dream truck I’ve always wanted a Denali.’ And I’m like ‘Yeah, sure. You got any questions?’”

Joseph specifically remembers a kid from Wisconsin coming up to his build at GM Nationals asking questions, taking pictures and showing genuine excitement because of what he had built. That’s something he’s looking forward to experiencing more in the future.


AXE Wheels







Freedom Service Solutions



HSP Diesel





Venum Wheel Accessories


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