No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra News and Notes:
- SMITH AT THE ROVAL: Sammy Smith will run his first race at the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). The ROVAL is the last race in the NXS Playoffs Round of 12. Smith currently sits 18 points ahead of the cut line for the Round of Eight.
- TEXAS RECAP: Smith collected his fifth top-five finish of the season at Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago with a third-place finish. Smith had a good points day as he finished in the top 10 in both Stage One and Stage Two.
- 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 58 top-five finishes, 122 top-10 finishes, and 11 pole positions under his leadership.
- JGR AT CHARLOTTE ROVAL: Joe Gibbs Racing has tallied six top-five finishes and eight top-10s in 16 combined Xfinity Series starts on the Charlotte ROVAL. Ty Gibbs notched the team’s best finish last season when he led 24 laps on the way to a second-place finish.
- FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Smith’s 2023 NXS Seasons.
- RACE INFO: The NXS Drive for the Cure 250 at the ROVAL is scheduled for 3:00 PM EST on Saturday, October 7. The race will be broadcast on USA, PRN, Sirius XM and available to stream on the NBC Sports app.
From the Driver’s Seat:
Sammy Smith: “Coming off an off-weekend, I’m ready to take on the next five races. I think the ROVAL will be an interesting challenge, but we had solid runs on road courses this season and just had some bad luck when it came to finishes. We need to put together a complete race to put ourselves into the Round of 8 and get some playoff points to have a good start to the next round of the playoffs.”
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