Myatt Snider has been a fixture in the Late Model Stock Car scene for close to five years, but now the 22-year-old from Charlotte is set to race in primetime in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway will be Snider’s second career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the first of eight races he is scheduled run with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2017. Snider, the son of veteran NBC Sports broadcaster Marty Snider, has confidence and is eager to learn after spending last season running part-time in the ARCA Racing Series.
“Last year I got good experience in the ARCA series,” Snider said. “It kind of prepared us to run for Kyle Busch Motorsports and it’s a great opportunity to get in the best of the best and the best equipment I can possibly be in. I feel like it’s a great opportunity. Glad to have Louisiana Hot Sauce with me. I think it’s going to be a good race.”
Snider has every reason to be optimistic as well. He had immediate success in the ARCA Racing Series, scoring a victory in his first series start at Toledo Speedway in May racing for Cunningham Motorsports. The success and the seamless transition to stock cars was surprising to Snider, considering his transition from Legend Cars to a Late Model Stock Car was anything but easy.
“I made the transition to Late Models, I was doing all I could to be as well performing as I could,” Snider explained. “It was more of a difficult transition than I thought. I didn’t understand the concept until 2014. Coming into ARCA, I was able to apply a good amount of knowledge as far as race dynamics and it helped out a bunch.”
That transition, while surprising to Snider, was also a confidence booster.
“It was a great confidence booster. I understand that I can run these heavier cars with a different tire,” Snider said. “It’s a different driving dynamic with all that weight and different tires so it did give me a shot of confidence so I feel good going into Daytona.”
Snider’s evolution as a driver was evident in Late Model Stock Cars. In 2013, he was gaining a reputation for being aggressive and impatient. Snider had the speed, putting together strong runs at tracks such as South Boston Speedway, but putting the whole deal together was somewhere he struggled.
“It was sort of a learning curve,” Snider stated. “You know, I was fortunate to have a lot of great mentors along the way and I feel like that theme is going to continue.”
Despite winning a race at Caraway Speedway in 2013, it wasn’t until 2014 when Snider began to grasp the Late Models. He won a handful of races that season and finished second in championship points at the very competitive Southern National Motorsports Park. A year later, Snider began to make the statement that he would, in fact, become a superstar.
Snider competed full-time in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour in 2015. In that series, he began clicking off consistent top-five finishes. While he went winless in the CARS Tour, he was in the championship hunt all the way through the final race, finishing third in points after some bad luck at the season finale race at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“It was definitely a good training and proving ground for me,” Snider remarked. “It taught me to run longer duration races and keep up front without wearing your stuff out too much. Those longer distance races helped a bunch, especially Myrtle Beach. That was a learning experience and showcase at the same time. It was a combination of everything. I’m glad I ran that series, it helped me transition better I think.”
A few weeks after the CARS Tour season concluded in 2015, he’d score a win in the Myrtle Beach 400, one of Late Model Stock Car racing’s crowned jewel events, prevailing in a thrilling battle with Late Model Stock Car goliaths Lee Pulliam and Tommy Lemons, Jr.
“It definitely gave me some confidence as far as my ability. It’s one of the biggest races of the year.”
Snider, who has worked at Joe Gibbs Racing while attending classes at a nearby university, never knew if his journey would take him to NASCAR, but he had hoped it would. His sponsor, Louisiana Hot Sauce, is committed and Snider says everyone around him has worked as hard as he has to make this happen.
“Everybody with me was trying to work as hard as they could to make it a possibility. Got very fortunate to have Louisiana Hot Sauce come on board with us in 2016 with the ARCA Series and they’ve been very pleased with what they’ve seen so far and they’re going to continue sponsoring me.”
Snider has progressed with his father by his side, supportive of him every step of the way and often cheering him on from atop the team’s hauler in the infield. Now, as Myatt moves to the big leagues, Marty will have a different view of his son’s continued success, perhaps one that ends with him interviewing his son in victory lane one day.
“He says interviewing one of your family members is against unspoken rules of broadcasting but it may happen eventually,” the younger Snider said. “There is definitely a chance I could be in that place one day, especially with Louisiana Hot Sauce coming on board. They’re giving me a chance honestly. There’s no way I could put into words how thankful I am for that.”
Snider will be racing at Daytona with veteran crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion. In addition to Daytona, Snider will also compete in races at Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 from Daytona can be seen live on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) on Friday night, with coverage beginning at 7:30pm EST.
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