Joe Gibbs Racing driver Sammy Smith was made available to media after winning the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. It is Smith’s first career NASCAR pole award.
SAMMY SMITH, No. 18 Pilot Flying J/Pringles Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Can you walk us through that lap?
“Yeah, it was a good lap. That first lap was a little bit off. I had a little bit of lock up, so I tried to adjust that a little bit and was able to get the pole there on the second lap. I kind of knew that second lap, going in, was going to be faster. Just kind of needed to get heat in the tires with it being colder right now. I feel like we have a really good Pilot Flying J, Pringles Supra for tomorrow’s race. I feel like practice was good, qualifying was good. Just have to go execute tomorrow.”
What was the key exiting off pit road to start your qualifying lap?
“I don’t think anything special – you just have to go hard to get heat in the tires, and it seemed like a lot of guys, their first lap – their fastest lap was the first lap, so I kind of knew I needed to get heat in the tires, and not make too big of a mistake on that first lap, and then my second lap was going to be faster.”
What did you learn from the Spring race here?
“I’ve been here a couple of times in the Xfinity car and a couple of times in a late model. This year – the first race – I learned a lot, what I need to do to my car, where John Hunter (Nemechek) and Cole Custer were running. I feel like they were the best two cars all night. I think we learned a lot with what we needed to do. I feel good going into tomorrow.”
How does facing a must-win situation narrow the strategy plans for tomorrow?
“I think there is really no strategy for us. We just have to go out and win. I feel like that is the biggest thing for us. I feel like we can do that. I feel like we need to do whatever it takes.”
Golin for Toyota Racing