Monday, Sep 26

Sammy Smith / No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra Preview – NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Watkins Glen International

Sammy Smith / No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra Preview – NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Watkins Glen International NK Photography Photo

No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra News and Notes: 

  • SMITH AT WATKINS GLEN: Sammy Smith will run his fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race of the season this weekend at Watkins Glen International (WGI) in the No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra. The NXS race will be his second race at the track after he runs the ARCA Menards Series (AMS) race at WGI on Friday for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). Smith has one NXS road course start this year which came at Road America where he ran in the top-10 most of the day before a mechanical failure relegated him to a 24th-place finish. 
  • MICHIGAN RECAP: Smith started fifth in the New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway. He finished third in Stage One despite reporting the car was tight exiting the corners. Smith came down pit road during the stage break and maintained third place for the start of Stage Two in which he ran in the top-five throughout the stage and battled for the lead late in the stage. Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff brought the No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra down pit road before the stage break resulting in a 12th-place finish in Stage Two. Smith led the first lap of his NXS career on lap 101 just before coming down pit road for a green flag pit stop. Smith sped on the entry to pit road and had to serve a penalty. Smith finished the race in 12th for his best NXS finish of the season.   
  • 2022 ARCA SERIES: Smith has won two AMS races this year at Elko and Berlin. He has four poles this season with an average starting position of 2.4 and an average finish of 3.5 after running finishing in the top five in seven of the eight races he has competed in. In the ARCA Menards Series East (AMSE), Smith has three wins this season – New Smyrna, Pensacola, and Nashville – five races into the season. He finished in the top-five in both of the other races. He won the 2021 AMSE championship after winning three races and collecting one pole award. 
  • HE MAY BE A ROOKIE BUT…: Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff certainly is not! Ratcliff has six starts at WGI in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) with two top-five finishes, and four top-10 finishes. In NXS, Ratcliff has 11 starts at WGI with six top-five finishes, eight top-10 finishes, and 83 laps led.  
  • NO. 18 IN 2022: The JGR No. 18 has had seven different drivers so far in 2022 – Drew Dollar, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Truex, Bubba Wallace, John Hunter Nemechek, Connor Mosack and Sammy Smith. The No. 18 team has an average start of 8.5, an average finish of 17.6, 253 laps led, five top-five finishes, and eight top-10 finishes.  
  • JGR AT WATKINS GLEN: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) drivers have two wins at WGI in a combined 46 NXS starts. In the 2021 NXS race at the road course, JGR driver Ty Gibbs took home the win and three of the four JGR drivers in the race finished in the top-10. JGR has 17 top-five finishes, 25 top-10s, one pole award, and drivers have combined to lead 226 laps.  
  • FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Smith’s 2022 NXS/ARCA Seasons.  

Twitter: @SammySmithSS I Facebook: Sammy Smith Racing I Instagram:  @sammysmithss_ 

  • RACE INFO: The NXS race at WGI is scheduled for 3:00 PM EST on Saturday, August 20. The race will be broadcasted on USA, MRN, Sirius XM and available to stream on the NBC Sports app. 

 

From the Driver’s Seat: 

Sammy Smith: “I am feeling confident going into Watkins Glen this weekend with the No. 18 Pilot Flying J team. I am more comfortable in our Toyota GR Supra with a few races under my belt and our run at Road America showed we can run well on road courses. I will definitely take what I learn during ARCA on Friday and apply it to practice, qualifying, and the race on Saturday. We’re looking forward to running a solid race and getting a good finish out of the No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra.” 

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