Sammy Smith / No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra Preview – RAPTOR King of Tough 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway 

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

  • SMITH AT ATLANTA: Sammy Smith will be making his first appearance at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) this weekend in the RAPTOR King of Tough 250. Smith has two previous NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) superspeedway starts under his belt, both coming at Daytona International Speedway.  
  • PHOENIX RECAP: Smith earned his first NXS victory last weekend in the United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway. At 18 years, nine months, and seven days, he is now the youngest driver to ever win at Phoenix and the fourth-youngest driver to win in the series. Smith started the race in 11th and led 92 laps on his way to capturing the checkered flag.  
  • 200 CAREER STARTS: Crew Chief Jeff Meendering will be making his 200th career NXS start as a crew chief in the series. He has visited Victory Lane eight times as a NXS crew chief, most recently this past weekend with Smith at Phoenix. His teams have collected 55 top-five finishes, 111 top-10 finishes, and 11 pole positions under his leadership.  
  • ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Smith is eligible to compete for the 2023 NXS Sunoco Rookie of the Year (ROTY). He is 2nd in the ROTY standings after Phoenix. 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.  
  • JGR AT ATLANTA: Joe Gibbs Racing has recorded five Xfinity Series victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway – all coming in the past nine trips to the track. In 63 combined starts at the track, the organization has picked up 20 top-five finishes, 33 top-10s, five pole awards, and 969 laps led. Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, and Ty Gibbs have all driven JGR Toyotas to victory lane in Atlanta.  
  • PILOT FLYING J: The closest Pilot Flying J to AMS is located at 2605 Bouldercrest Road SE in Atlanta, Ga.  
  • FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Smith’s 2023 NXS Seasons.  

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

  • RACE INFO: The NXS RAPTOR King of Tough 250 at MIS is scheduled for 5:00 PM EST on Saturday, March 18. The race will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 1, PRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, and available to stream on the FOX Sports app.  

From the Driver’s Seat:  

Sammy Smith: “Last weekend’s win gave me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season. I knew we would get a win this year, but I’m glad it came early so we can focus on playoff points and getting more wins in. I’m focused on taking everything week by week. I’m excited to get to Atlanta to work on my superspeedway racing. I don’t have a lot of speedway experience and I feel like the only way to learn is by getting laps in. Our No. 18 Pilot Flying J Supra is going to be fast this week so I have to work on learning the track at the beginning of the race since we don’t have practice, to put us in the best possible position at the end of the race.”  

Smith’s 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats:  

Starts  Wins  Top 5  Top 10  Poles  Laps Led  Avg. Start  Avg. Finish  
4  1  1  1  0  106  13.3  14.0  

Smith’s Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats:  

Starts  Wins  Top 5  Top 10  Poles  Laps Led  Avg. Start  Avg. Finish  
13  1  2  4  0  124  8.8  16.5  


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