Garrett Smithley Running for Rookie of the Year with JD Motorsportsby Kyle Pokrefky February 15, 2016 0 comments
Peachtree City, Ga’s Garrett Smithley will run for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season with JD Motorsports, the team has announced.
Smithley, 23, will race in the team’s No. 0 Chevrolet starting at his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and in select races throughout the year.
Smithley joins Ross Chastain and Ryan Preece as confirmed drivers for JD Motorsports’s 2016 season with Eric McClure being set to drive for the team in the No. 0 car in a one-off start.
“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 comes to the team after running a partial schedule in the Truck Series last year with Mittler Brothers Racing, turning in a best finish of 14th at Michigan International Speedway.
Prior to moving up to full-bodied stock cars in 2013, Smithley cut his teeth on the bandolero and legends circuits, winning four championships in the U.S Legend Car Series.
In a press release from the team, team owner Johnny Davis spoke about giving the opportunity to Smithley, a driver still new to the national series, and how he prides himself on his history of giving opportunities to up and coming drivers.
“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,” 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.”
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images