Garrett Smithley to attempt to make Daytona 500 field

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Garrett Smithley will seek to make the Daytona 500 in the No. 13 car for MBM Motorsports, the team announced Friday night.

MBM Motorsports does not have a charter. At least eight non-chartered cars are expected to contend for the four spots available to such teams in the Feb. 14 Daytona 500. The two fastest non-chartered cars in qualifying will make the 500, along with the top finishing non-chartered car in each of the two qualifying races.

Among those he’ll be racing for those spots are reigning Xfinity champion Austin Cindric, JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece, Gaunt Brothers Racing’s Ty Dillon, Beard Motorsports’ Noah Gragson, Kaulig Racing’s Kaz Grala and Front Row Motorsports’ David Ragan.

Smithley seeks to make his first Daytona 500 start. He’s made 43 career Cup starts.

“It’s absolutely a dream come true to attempt the Daytona 500,” Smithley said in a statement from the team. “To this point, (Rick Ware Racing) has given me the opportunity to compete in every crown jewel event in NASCAR. This is obviously the biggest one, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to do this with MBM Motorsports. It’s going to be a tall order to race our way in, but I’ve had a lot of success on superspeedways in the past, so I’m cautiously optimistic that we can get it done.”

Trophy Tractor Inc. will be the car’s sponsor.

Smithley finished a career-high fifth in the 2018 Daytona Xfinity Series race. He has made 137 career Xfinity starts.