Garrett Smithley will return to JD Motorsports with Gary Keller for a third season, the Xfinity Series team announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old Smithley will again drive the No. 0 car.
He completes JD Motorsports’ driver roster for 2018. Smithley’s teammates will be Ross Chastain, Vinnie Miller and Matt Mills.
“I’m so excited to be back with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller this season,” Smithley said in a statement from the team. “We’ve had two very successful seasons together and to be given the opportunity to continue to build on that is something I do not take for granted.
“Each and every year JD Motorsports with Gary Keller grows and improves. This offseason has been an extremely strong one for this organization, and I knew that if the opportunity presented itself to return, I wouldn’t pass it up. I can’t thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunities they have given me and this entire team for all that they do. We’re a family, and we’re in this together. It will be awesome to work with Ross once again, as well as Vinnie and Matt this season.”
Smithley finished 21st in the points last season. He finished a season-best eighth in the season opener last year at Daytona International Speedway.
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After a brief absence, Martins Motorsports is returning to the Camping World Truck Series this weekend at Iowa Speedway.
The team will field the No. 42 Chevrolet with driver Matt Mills.
Martins Motorsports shifted its focus to the Xfinity Series earlier this year and sold the rights to its No. 44 to Faith Motorsports.
“It’s been a weird year,” said driver and team spokesman Tommy Joe Martins in a press release. “So much has changed for our team in just one year. The Truck series has shifted dramatically. But I think we’ve found a good direction for Martins Motorsports. We’re at home in the Truck series. We want to be a platform for guys to take their first step in NASCAR – just like I did.”
Mills will be making his fourth Truck start of the year. His first three, at Kansas, Charlotte and Dover, were with Faith Motorsports. The 20-year-old driver finished 17th at Kansas and Dover. He finished 24th at Charlotte.
Martins Motorsports has made 29 Truck starts since 2009. Its only starts this year were at Atlanta with Martins and at Martinsville with Brandon Brown.
“We know we’ve got a chance to go out and compete for top-15’s consistently with Matt driving our trucks.” Martins said. “The relationship he’s formed with our crew chief Kevin Eagle is also going to give us a big head start on unloading fast. We want to give Matt as many opportunities as we can.”
The team hopes to compete in “several” of the remaining races in the Truck season, but a final schedule is not set.
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After four starts in 2016 in the Camping World Truck Series, 19-year-old Matt Mills will make his Xfinity Series debut this Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.
The Lynchburg, Virginia native will drive the No. 8 Thompson Electric Chevrolet for B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the DC Solar 200. Mills will be making his second career start at Phoenix, having finished a career-best 21st in the Truck Series race there last fall.
“This is a great opportunity and I’m excited, yet humbled to be making my NASCAR Xfinity Series debut,” Mills said in a media release. “I’m hoping that my prior experience at Phoenix should be to some benefit to myself and the B.J. McLeod Motorsports team.
“I’m really hoping for a good result on Saturday afternoon.”
Veteran Keith Wolfe will serve as Mills’ crew chief.
In addition to Mills, B.J. McLeod Motorsports will have two other drivers entered in Saturday’s race: team principal B.J. McLeod in the No. 78 Chevrolet and veteran driver David Starr in the No. 99 Chevy.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Matt have a great Xfinity Series debut on Saturday,” McLeod said. “He is a sharp kid who takes his racing very seriously and is anxious to learn and succeed.
“I think with prior experience at Phoenix, it offers the chance to make that transition that much smoother.”