Multi-year deal lands Smith in No. 8 Chevrolet in NXS Competition
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 26, 2023) – JR Motorsports has tabbed current NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff contender and two-time ARCA Menards Series East champion Sammy Smith as its newest driver, the team announced today. Beginning in 2024, Smith will command JRM’s iconic No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro in full-time NXS competition with partnership from Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation and the Allstate Peterbilt Group.
“Sammy is a great fit for our program and will mesh well with our other drivers,” said JRM team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “He’s a young, talented racer who’s willing to learn and carries himself with a lot of professionalism. He has a bright future ahead. I’m excited for our team to help him continue his journey.”
Smith, 19, transitions to JRM after spending the past two seasons stockpiling stats that include a win at Phoenix Raceway – which made him the youngest NXS winner in the track’s history – six top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. Smith also clinched a coveted spot in the NXS Playoffs this season. He replaces longtime JRM driver Josh Berry, who is moving to the Cup Series in 2024 to fill the seat vacated by retiring superstar Kevin Harvick.
“I am very appreciative for the support of Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation and all my partners that helped make this happen,” said Smith, a native of Johnston, Iowa. “The opportunity to race for JR Motorsports is one I am looking forward to and cannot wait to see what we all accomplish together.”
Smith’s been aligned with Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation and Allstate Peterbilt Group since his career began. As the largest operator of travel centers in North America, Pilot Flying J is a Knoxville, Tenn.-based company with more than 750 retail locations. Based out of Des Moines, Iowa, TMC Transportation is the nation’s largest employee-owned open deck transportation company. The Allstate Peterbilt Group is the largest privately held factory-authorized dealer group in the Upper Midwest.
“It’s special to welcome Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation and Allstate Peterbilt Group back into the JRM family,” said JRM CEO Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “They were part of our Xfinity program for five years and were instrumental in helping us become a four-car operation in 2017. This reunion shows a lot of promise with a talent like Sammy at the wheel. We can’t wait to go to work with them.”
All three brands spent the 2017-21 NXS seasons in partnership with JRM. The relationship produced Pilot Flying J’s first series victory at Daytona International Speedway in 2019 prior to a second win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2021.
“We have been supporting and cheering on Sammy throughout his journey in the Xfinity Series for the last two seasons,” said Adrienne Ingoldt, vice president of brand and marketing for Pilot Flying J. “We’re excited for the next chapter in his career and seeing the success he‘ll bring behind the wheel of JRM’s No. 8 car.”
Smith, who began racing at the age of 8, carved his path through the ranks by way of go-karts, Legend Cars, Late Models and Super Late Models, winning several crown-jewel events in the latter such as the Winchester 400, Redbud 400 and Governor’s Cup. He has raced in multiple series, including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series. In addition to two championships, Smith is a 15-time winner at the ARCA Menards Series level.
“We are excited to continue our motorsports partnership with Sammy as he joins the JRM race team,” said Jason Webb, EVP, asset management for TMC Transportation. “Having been a partner with JRM for several years, we know they are a first-class organization. Sammy will be joining a team that will provide him with the resources and tools to dominate on the track and continue to develop to reach his full potential.”
Smith will join Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones and Sam Mayer in completing JRM’s driver lineup in 2024. Specific partner races and crew duties for Smith and the No. 8 team will be announced at a later date.
ABOUT PILOT FLYING J:
Pilot Travel Centers LLC (“Pilot Flying J”), the largest network of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. The Pilot Flying J travel center network includes over 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 790 restaurants, 77,000 truck parking spaces, 5,500 deluxe showers, 6,300 diesel lanes and offers truck maintenance and tire service through Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J. Details on locations, amenities and rewards are available in the myRewards Plus app. More information on Pilot Flying J is available at www.pilotflyingj.com.
Pilot Flying J is part of the Pilot Company family of brands. Pilot Company is a majority owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. For additional information about Pilot Company, its 30,000 team members and commitment to giving back, visit www.pilotcompany.com.
TMC Transportation is the nation’s largest employee-owned open deck transportation company. TMC provides expert transportation services and supply-chain management solutions throughout the 48 contiguous states. Founded in 1972, TMC is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and is known for its integrity, innovation, superior safety record and dedication to quality and customer service. The company’s claim-free, on-time delivery record is the best in the business and is consistently recognized by its customers. Visit us at www.tmctrans.com.
ABOUT JR MOTORSPORTS:
JR Motorsports is the racing operation co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Fame member and 15-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick. Now in its 22nd year of overall competition, JR Motorsports competes in multiple divisions, including the NASCAR Xfinity Series where it currently fields four full-time teams and earned championships in 2014, 2017 and 2018. The company also races in Late Model competition and owns five championships in regional Late Model divisions and added a prized national title in 2020. To learn more about the organization, its drivers and its sponsorship opportunities, visit www.jrmracing.com.