When the NASCAR Cup Series season returns from a two-week break, one of its drivers will have a new partner on his stock car. Garrett Smithley, the part-time driver of the No. 53 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet Camaro, will join forces with the Pennsylvania Beef Council.
A Pennsylvania native, Smithley announced the new partnership with a special video on Twitter. He showcased the special apron that the Pennsylvania Beef Council gave him and then explained how it’s the perfect time to get out and grill. Smithley capped off the video with the classic “beef, it’s what’s for dinner” slogan.
The 29-year-old did not provide further details about the new partnership. He did not reveal when he will work with the Pennsylvania Beef Council or how long they will join forces. This information will come to light at a later date. For now, Smithley will enjoy his time away from the track as he prepares for the final stretch.
Smithley Is Making the Most of His Two-Week Break
Like the rest of the Cup Series drivers, Smithley is figuring out different ways to spend his free time due to the Olympics. One example is heading to a local short track to take in some racing action. There are countless local races that take place around the country throughout the year, which provide drivers with the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Smithley revealed on Twitter that he spent Saturday, July 24, at Dillon Motor Speedway in South Carolina. He took in multiple races, including Carolina Super Late Models and Carolina Crate Modifieds. According to the Dillon Motor Speedway site, the late model race featured a $1,200 prize.
Of course, Smithley was not simply on hand to watch the local racers. He was also supporting a member of the team. Rick Ware Racing announced in January that Nathan Byrd would be the 2021 Pro Late Model series development driver. He would drive the No. 51 for the team and gain more experience on oval tracks.
Smithley Will Continue To Compete for a Spot Moving Forward
Now in his fourth year as a part-time Cup Series driver, Smithley continues to compete while focusing on the future. He made 26 starts during the 2020 season for multiple teams, including Rick Ware Racing, Spire Motorsports, Live Fast Motorsports, and Tommy Baldwin Racing.
Prior to the 2021 season, Rick Ware Racing announced that Smithley would return to the fold for a partial schedule. The team did not announce the number of races that Smithley would run in the No. 53, only saying that they wanted to build on the chemistry that they developed as the season progressed.
“I’m incredibly excited to be back with RWR. We really had a great year last year, and honestly raced a lot more than I was planning to, which is always a good sign,” Smithley said in January 2021, per Jayski. “Rick has given me some amazing opportunities throughout the year, and I’m excited to capitalize on this one in 2021.”
15 races into the 2021 schedule, Smithley has a season-best finish of 25th, which he set at Nashville Superspeedway on June 20. He will have more opportunities to turn in strong performances once NASCAR returns from the two-week break, and he will showcase a new partner at the same time.