No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra News and Notes:
- SMITH AT MICHIGAN: Sammy Smith will run his first race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this weekend in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). This will be Smith’s third NXS race for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in 2022. Smith will also be running the ARCA Menards Series (AMS) race at Michigan on Saturday for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
- POCONO RECAP: Smith started the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 in fifth place. Smith finished stage 1 in eighth after battling a tight car exiting the corners. The No. 18 team pitted and made adjustments during the stage break. Smith was loose into the corners in stage 2 and finished the stage in 13th-place. A crash on lap 54 took Smith out of the race resulting in a 31st-place finish.
- 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 3.4 after running finishing in the top five in six of the seven races he has compete 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 is the 2021 AMSE champion.
- HE MAY BE A ROOKIE BUT…: Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff certainly is not! Ratcliff has 14 starts at MIS in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) with one win (2015 with Matt Kenseth), one pole, two top-five finishes, and three top-10 finishes. In NXS, Ratcliff has 15 starts at Michigan with six top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes.
- 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 8.7, an average finish of 17.9, 252 laps led, five top-five finishes, and eight top-10 finishes.
- FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Smith’s 2022 NXS/ARCA Seasons.
- RACE INFO: The NXS New Holland 250 at MIS is scheduled for 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, August 6. 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 looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra this weekend at Michigan. The JGR cars have shown really good speed here in the past. I feel like I am learning more and more about the Xfinity car each week to be able to run well. We’re focusing on putting together a complete race this weekend and earning a great finish for the No. 18 Pilot Flying J team.”