Camry driver Sammy Smith earned his first career ARCA Menards Series East Championship with second-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday evening.
The 17-year-old Iowa native has been incredibly consistent in his debut season. He started the year with a runner-up finish at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida after leading 78 laps. Smith then went on a tear – winning three of the next four races – to jump out to a big advantage in the point standings. His consistent efforts continued in the final three races (combination races with the national ARCA Menards Series), including a top-five run at the Milwaukee Mile. This season the Toyota development driver has scored seven top-fives in eight starts.
“Watching Sammy drive to such success this early in his career has been exciting,” said Paul Doleshal, Group Manager, Motorsports and Assets, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “We are thrilled that he has scored his first championship in the ARCA Menards Series East, and we look forward to his continued growth as part of the Toyota driver development program.”
Smith drives a Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). This is JGR’s third ARCA East driver’s championship (Joey Logano – 2007, Max Gresham – 2011). The No. 18 team also earned the national ARCA Menards Series owner’s championship last season. Smith is the sixth Toyota driver to win the ARCA East title and first since 2018. He joins a list that includes Ryan Truex (2009 and 2010), Max Gresham (2011), Kyle Larson (2012), Harrison Burton (2017) and Tyler Ankrum (2018).