Joe Gibbs Racing announced the addition of Sammy Smith to its NASCAR Xfinity Series program for eight events this season, beginning in July.
The 18-year-old Smith from Johnston, Iowa, will be making his Xfinity Series debut in JGR’s No. 18 Toyota Supra at Road America (July 2). His other starts will occur at Pocono Raceway (July 23), Michigan International Speedway (August 6), Watkins Glen International (August 20), Kansas Speedway (September 10), Bristol Motor Speedway (September 16), Martinsville Speedway (October 29) and at Phoenix Raceway (November 5). Veteran Jason Ratcliff will be serving as Smith’s crew chief while Pilot Flying J, TMC, Allstate Peterbilt Group, Renda Group and Sinclair Tractors will all be serving as sponsors for Smith throughout his Xfinity campaign.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to run the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing,” Smith said. “Making the jump to this level is huge for me and my career, and I’m thankful for all of my partners and supporters that have helped me get here.”
Smith, whose racing career began at age 8 through go-karts before moving up to legends cars and late models, is the reigning champion of the ARCA Menards Series East, having won three events and winning the both the drivers’ title and the Rookie-of-the-Year title while competing for Joe Gibbs Racing. He is currently competing in his second full-time season in the series for Kyle Busch Motorsports, where he has racked up three wins through the first four scheduled events and leads the drivers’ standings by nine points over David Gilliland Racing’s Taylor Gray. His next scheduled ARCA Menards Series East event is this weekend at Iowa Speedway, which will be a combined event between the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA Menards Series East and occur on June 11.
“Sammy has impressed at every level of his racing career,” Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President/Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, said. “We believe Sammy will continue to excel and look forward to supporting him as he expands his 2022 schedule to include eight races in the Xfinity Series with the Joe Gibbs Racing No.18 team led by crew chief Jason Ratcliff.”
With Smith’s Xfinity debut set, he will also become the seventh different competitor to pilot Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota Supra that has been piloted by Trevor Bayne, Drew Dollar, Connor Mosack, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Truex and Bubba Wallace through the first 14 scheduled Xfinity events. The No. 18 team led by Ratcliff sits in 12th place in the 2022 Xfinity owners’ standings on the strength of three top-five results and six top-10 results.
The Xfinity Series is currently entering a two-week break and wil return to action at Nashville Superspeedway on June 27 with Bayne set to compete in the event in JGR’s No. 18 entry.
Sammy Smith’s debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series is set to occur at Road America on July 2 with the event’s coverage to occur at 2:30 p.n. ET on USA Network.