|Smithley's early exit at Road America in 2016|
PHOTO: NBC Sports
LASTCAR.info Guest Contributor
Reporting from Road America
Garrett Smithley is currently in his third season with JD Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, driving the No. 0 car, which gained notoriety for the #NumberNuthin social media campaign that went along with it. This year, Smithley also made his Cup debut and has made three starts to date. About half an hour after second practice ended, Flex Seal decals were being placed on the car as the interview occurred, something I’m told by crew happens more than occasionally.
YOU FINISHED LAST IN YOUR FIRST CUP START, UNFORTUNATELY. WAS THAT A TRANSMISSION PROBLEM THE WHOLE WEEKEND, OR JUST ON RACE DAY?
SMITHLEY: No, it was just race day. We only really did like twenty laps in practice, I think we had a penalty and then rained out the rest of practice so we didn’t get a whole lot of laps. Qualifying was fine, went to start the race and felt something weird in the shifter and didn’t think anything of it, and we went to go from second to third, didn’t go to third, thought I missed a shift, finally got it into third and then it went from third to fourth and the whole thing just dropped. So I was like ‘what the heck’, so we came in and they didn’t have any spares or anything like that. It was unfortunate but I don’t know, I’m talking to you so it counts for something, right?
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE WITH STARCOM COMING UP THAT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?
SMITHLEY: No, so we went and ran StarCom at Kentucky, and then we went to Premium for the second Michigan race. No more Cup races are scheduled, we’re looking at some different options but right now I just want to focus on the Xfinity side, the best finish for points that we can at the end of the Xfinity year. I don’t know, if something pops up I’d love to do it but right now, nothing scheduled.
YOU FINISHED LAST IN THIS RACE TWO YEARS AGO. OBVIOUSLY YOU WANT TO IMPROVE ON THAT. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR GOALS THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND?
SMITHLEY: Yeah, that was my first time here and we broke something or blew a tire, it was like lap two, and I think that was my first last-place finish in NASCAR. [Note: It was. He finished 39th three weeks prior at Watkins Glen.] These road courses are so difficult, but they’re fun. They’re a lot of fun. It’s a whole new set of challenges. Really, what I want to do is build off what I’ve already been able to do this year, we finished 23rd at Watkins Glen, going to finish at 19th at Mid-Ohio but we had some type of issue with the carburetor, finished 27th, 28th but we’ve run good at both the road course races so really, I just want to run good, stay on the track, do all the laps, and hopefully that’ll equate to a top-twenty finish.