Sammy Smith will compete full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2023 for Joe Gibbs Racing, JGR announced Dec. 6.
Smith’s ride is the No. 18, which he drove part time in 2022.
Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation and Allstate Peterbilt Group will sponsor the effort.
“This is an opportunity I have been working towards,” Smith said in a team release. “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel full time and am looking forward to a great season. I learned a lot in 2022 that will really help me to be competitive and run up front in the Xfinity Series. Thank you to Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation, Allstate Peterbilt Group and Toyota Racing Development for supporting me in my racing career. I am excited for next year and appreciate the opportunity.”
“Sammy is a fantastic addition to our 2023 Xfinity lineup,” Steve DeSouza, JGR evp of Xfinity Series and driver development, added. “He proved to have the passion and the talent to necessary to compete for wins in the races he ran for us in 2022. We are excited to get him in the No. 18 full time and know he will be competitive from the jump.”
In nine starts in 2022, Smith scored one top five and three top 10s.
Smith is the two-time defending ARCA Menards Series East champion and also scored six main-series ARCA Menards Series wins in 2022.
No other teams have been announced for the 2023 Xfinity season in the JGR stable. The team fielded three full-time cars in 2022: the Nos. 18, 19 and 54. The drivers of the latter two, Brandon Jones and Ty Gibbs, have moved on to other teams (JR Motorsports for Jones) or series (the NASCAR Cup Series for JGR for Gibbs) in 2023.
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Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.