Sammy Smith / No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra Preview – Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen International

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

  • SMITH AT WATKINS GLEN: Sammy Smith has one prior NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) start at Watkins Glen International (WGI). Smith started 19th in the 2022 NXS race at the road course. Pit strategy at the end of the first stage paid off as Smith led laps and got the first stage win of his NXS career. Smith worked through the field after his final pit stop in Stage Three. With four laps to go, William Byron and JGR teammate Ty Gibbs spun while battling for the lead. Smith capitalized and spent the last three laps chasing down the leaders, earning a career-best finish of third place.     
  • INDIANAPOLIS ROAD COURSE RECAP: Smith qualified 17th for last weekend’s race at the Brickyard. Contact with cars early in the race damaged the suspension of the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra which made it difficult to pass. Smith finished the race in 28th.  
  • 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 WATKINS GLEN: Joe Gibbs Racing owns two Xfinity Series wins at Watkins Glen International. In 49 combined starts at the track, the organization has recorded 18 top-five finishes, 26 top-10s, one pole award, and 257 laps led. Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs both raced JGR Toyotas to victory lane at the New York road course.  
  • 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 Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen International is scheduled for 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, August 19. 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: “The past few weeks have been tough runs. We’ve had good speed and just gotten into some unlucky situations. Watkins Glen is a place I feel like we can turn that around. We had a great run here last year. I know the track so we can really focus on finding speed during practice and the race. If we keep our No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota GR Supra clean this weekend, I think we have a great chance to end up in Victory Lane.”  

Smith’s Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats at Watkins Glen International:  

Starts  Wins  Top 5  Top 10  Poles  Laps Led  Avg. Start  Avg. Finish  
1  0  1  1  0  6  19.0  3.0  

Smith’s 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats:  

Starts  Wins  Top 5  Top 10  Poles  Laps Led  Avg. Start  Avg. Finish  
22  1  4  10  0  171  10.0  16.1  

Smith’s Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats:  

Starts  Wins  Top 5  Top 10  Poles  Laps Led  Avg. Start  Avg. Finish  
31  1  5  13  0  189  9.1  16.5  

About Pilot Flying J:  

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Pilot Flying J is part of the Pilot Company family of brands founded in 1958 and headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. For additional information about Pilot Company, its 30,000 team members and commitment to giving back, visit  


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