KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — official release — GSR photo — Rising NASCAR racer Garrett Smithley scored a pair of top 10 finishes last Friday night under the lights at East Carolina Speedway in his #76 Enlyten Chevy SS.
After missing practice due to a late arrival at the track by his team, the 22 year old went straight into qualifying a car with a lot of unknowns about handling and performance and just 2 laps to try and make the field in a decent position.
“I hadn’t seen the car since the fire we experienced 2 weeks ago, and the BMR Team had worked since then to get it here on time,” Smithley commented. “I’m pleased they did. There were a few things we had to work on after qualifying but in all, team owner Gary Marchant gave me a very good race car.”
Starting from 14th in feature race #1, Smithley endured some rear end damage on the opening lap and fought hard to maintain position. After a few laps in, Smithley began to methodically move up through the field. He and teammate Garrett Marchant in the #77 Chevy fought hard for several laps but once Smithley edged ahead he never looked back, cruising to a 9th place finish.
Feature race #2 saw Smithley starting his Enlyten Chevy from 9th position. Having conserved his tires from race #1 he found he had a very competitive car, and once again began to scythe through the field, catching and again passing the #77 of Marchant who later blew his engine, the result of which was a full course yellow to clean up the ensuing oil slick.
On the restart Smithley fought for position with the top line cars and eventually crossed the line with a 6th place finish.
“I was pleased to come away with 2 solid finishes this weekend for Enlyten and my other partners for this race, Veho UK. We proved we could be competitive in a car that was barely set up leading into these important races and it did a lot for my confidence to know we were closer to the front than we have been in previous races,” Smithley expressed. “I was so pleased to have the ‘Enlyten advantage’ in these 2 very hard races which were run back to back. With only a short break in between I took an Enlyten FocusEnergy strip and that helped put me in the right mindset for the second crucial race.”