During the week, Sammy Smith is a high school student taking classes online to make sure he gets his high school diploma, but when the weekends hit, he is racing against some of the best drivers.
The 18-year-old took it to another level on Saturday when he picked up his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win. Smith held off Ryan Truex and Sheldon Creed to head to Victory Lane in the United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway.
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Smith led 92 of the 200 laps and captured the lead from Kyle Busch on Lap 149.
“That was tough with all of those restarts – and going against some of the best,” he said after the race, via NASCAR.com. “I just have to thank everybody on Pilot/Flying J, Toyota, JGR guys and everybody on this 18 team for giving me an awesome car. This is awesome.
“This is a dream come true, and I did know that at some point this was coming. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of great people around me. Without all of these guys, I wouldn’t be here.”
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Riley Herbst and Chandler Smith finished fourth and fifth respectively.
It was the 16th time JGR Motorsports has won the Xfinity Series in Phoenix. It was the sixth consecutive year with six different drivers – Christopher Bell (2018), Busch (2019), Brandon Jones (2020), Daniel Hemric (2021) and Ty Gibbs (2022).
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Smith is also the youngest Xfinity Series winner at Phoenix.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.