Joe Gibbs Racing Adds New Driver on 8-Race Deal

Joe Gibbs Racing

Getty The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra will have a new driver for 8 races.

The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra will have a new wheelman for eight upcoming Xfinity Series races. The organization has paved the way for Sammy Smith to make his debut in the series.

JGR announced the news on June 9. The organization confirmed that Smith, the defending ARCA Menards Series East champion, will first take over the No. 18 Toyota on July 2 at Road America in Wisconsin. He will have Pilot Flying J and Allstate Peterbilt Group as his primary partners during his eight-race schedule. TMC, Renda Group, and Sinclair Tractor will also provide support.

“Sammy has impressed at every level of his racing career,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President/Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, in a press release. “We believe Sammy will continue to excel and look forward to supporting him as he expands his 2022 schedule to include eight races in the Xfinity Series with the Joe Gibbs Racing No.18 team led by crew chief Jason Ratcliff.”

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The Full Schedule Features a Wide Variety of Tracks

Sammy Smith

GettySammy Smith poses with his ARCA Menards Series East championship trophy.

When Smith makes his debut, he will do so at a popular road course. He will then take on multiple other tracks that feature a variety of layouts. This includes intermediates, short tracks, and the Tricky Triangle.

According to the release, Smith’s second race will take place at Pocono Raceway on July 23. He will take on the 2.5-mile track for the first time, and he will face off with some of the biggest names in the Xfinity Series.

Smith will then round out his schedule with stops at Michigan International Speedway (August 6), Watkins Glen International (August 20), Kansas Speedway (September 10), Bristol Motor Speedway (September 16), Martinsville Speedway (October 29), and Phoenix Raceway (November 5).

“I’m excited for the opportunity to run the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing,” Smith said. “Making the jump to this level is huge for me and my career, and I’m thankful for all of my partners and supporters that have helped me get here.”

Smith Continues To Defend His Championship

The Iowa native will make his Xfinity Series debut at Road America, but it will not distract him from his main goal. He currently is on a mission to defend his ARCA Menards Series East championship.

Smith currently has the points lead after four of the eight scheduled races. He has reached Victory Lane three times while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. This includes a dominant run at New Smyrna Speedway when he started from the pole and led a total of 167 laps before reaching Victory Lane. Smith added victories at Five Flags Speedway (Florida) and the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Smith is currently on pace to surpass his Rookie of the Year season. He has four top-five finishes through four races, and he should have an opportunity to beat his previous career-best of seven. He has also already matched the three wins from the 2021 season.

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