No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra News and Notes:
- SMITH AT DAYTONA: Sammy Smith has two previous starts at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). In the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) 2023 season opener, Smith was involved in an on-track incident at the conclusion of Stage 2 resulting in extensive front end damage. The team spent time on pit road repairing the car to salvage what they could of the race, resulting in a 19th-place finish.
- ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Smith is eligible to compete for the 2023 NXS Sunoco Rookie of the Year (ROTY). The other drivers competing for the title are Chandler Smith, Parker Retzlaff, and Blaine Perkins.
- ARCA EAST CHAMPION x2: Smith defended his 2021 ARCA Menards Series East (AMSE) Championship in 2022 on the strength of five wins and a top-five finish in all of the AMSE races. He also won four ARCA Menards Series races and one ARCA Menards Series West race in 2022.
- ON THE PITBOX: Crew Chief Jeff Meendering will head up the No. 18 team during the 2023 season. He has visited Victory Lane eight times as a NXS crew chief, most recently with Smith at Phoenix in March 2023. His teams have collected 57 top-five finishes, 120 top-10 finishes, and 11 pole positions under his leadership.
- JGR AT DAYTONA: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has earned four Xfinity Series victories at Daytona. In 117 combined starts at the track, the organization has posted 30 top-five finishes, 49 top-10s, seven pole awards, and 719 laps led. Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Tony Stewart each raced JGR entries to victory lane in Daytona.
- FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Smith’s 2023 NXS Seasons.
- RACE INFO: The NXS Wawa 250 powered by Coca-Cola at DIS is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST on Friday, August 25. The race will be broadcast on USA, MRN, Sirius XM and available to stream on the NBC Sports app.
From the Driver’s Seat:
Sammy Smith: "Daytona is all about staying out of the wrecks. I don't have a ton of experience superspeedway racing, but I feel like I am getting better every time we run one. Qualifying is important on Friday - we want to start up front and stay there so we can avoid wrecks and have a shot at the win when it comes down to the end."