The youth movement continues in the NASCAR XFINITY Series as Garrett Smithley will be one of the drivers battling for Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
The Peachtree City, Georgia native will be running multiple races for JD Motorsports behind the wheel of the No. 0 Chevrolet in 2016, beginning with the second race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“Just a few years ago, the thought of racing in NASCAR was just a dream, and now after a successful 2015 debut season in the Camping World Truck Series, I have the chance to climb another big step up the racing ladder,” Smithley said. “This opportunity with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller is incredible and was completely unexpected.
“I really didn’t know what was in store for me in 2016. We had some ideas after Homestead last year, but nothing solid materialized, and when I got the call from Johnny Davis to drive the 0 car, I was ecstatic! This is a huge opportunity, and I’m so excited to kick-off the season at my home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway.”
Smithley made his XFINITY Series debut last year for JD Motorsports in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing 28th. He also ran four Camping World Truck Series, including a season-high 14th place finish at Michigan International Speedway. Before making the move to one of NASCAR’s national series, the 23-year-old won four U.S. Legend Car Series championships.
“One of the many things that I have always enjoyed during my time as a team owner has been giving young drivers a shot at this great sport,” JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis said. “Garrett has a lot of talent, and I’ve been very impressed by what he’s done in the past. I think this relationship will be beneficial to all of us.”
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