Dale Earnhardt Jr’s latest NASCAR recruit Sammy Smith talks about driving the number 8 car for JR Motorsport next season

NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy
Sammy Smith prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy's Frozen Custard 300 - Qualifying race

JR Motorsports has welcomed 19-year-old talent Sammy Smith to their roster. The young talent, currently with Joe Gibbs Racing, is slated to make his debut with the team at the outset of the 2024 season.

Following his official announcement by JR Motorsports' X (formerly Twitter) handle, the Xfinity Series team shared a short introductory video of their latest addition, Sammy Smith.

The Joe Gibbs Racing youngster went on to reflect on his journey to becoming a NASCAR driver, recounting:

"When I knew I wanna be a NASCAR driver? Probably 13 or 14."

Smith's passion ignited during his final year in Legend Cars, where he tasted the sweet fruit of success. It was then that he resolved to turn his love for racing into a lifelong career.

Eagerly looking ahead to donning the colors of JR Motorsports, Smith expressed his enthusiasm for working under the guidance of JRM owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. A fan since his early days, Smith remarked:

"I was always a big fan of watching him and to be able to race for him and his team is super special and I'm super excited to get started."

The transition for Sammy Smith will be underscored by a shift to the iconic No. 8 car in the Xfinity Series, currently piloted by the accomplished Josh Berry. Speaking on the honor, Smith humbly shared:

"Really excited to run the No. 8 next year. It has a lot of history behind it so hopefully I can carry that history and make everyone that ran that number proud."

Furthermore, Smith exudes confidence in his physical and mental preparedness, emphasizing the importance of conditioning both inside and outside the race car. He added:

"I feel like I'm pretty mentally tough, being able to reset if something happens. Physically strong, I feel like I really am trying to work outside the race car so when I get inside the race car, I can be 110%."

Sammy Smith expresses his championship aspirations for next season

Recalling his early encounters with the JR Motorsports team, Smith reflected on the days spent with Michael Annett, hanging out at the track and forging connections with the Earnhardt family. He said:

"Coming to the track, hanging out with him, meeting Kelly and Dale for the first time was really cool."

Now, as he prepares to join their ranks, the 19-year-old looks forward to rekindling those cherished relationships while forging new ones with his new teammates.

Sammy Smith's aspirations for the upcoming season are as lofty as they are resolute. He declared:

"Hopefully I can go and win a lot of races and win the championship next year."

As the 2023 NASCAR season edges closer towards its commencement, all eyes will be on Sammy Smith as he heads into the next season, stepping into the driver's seat of the No. 8 car.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay
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