FORT WORTH, Tex. – Chad Finley Racing (CFR) announced today that NASCAR veteran driver Garrett Smithley will drive the team’s No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado in Friday night’s Vankor 350k at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).
CFR mainstay driver Robby Lyons was scheduled to drive the team’s truck in the fifth NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) race of the season, but in an effort to give back, Lyons has agreed to allow Smithley make some of his own history.
Lyons wanted to see Smithley, a close friend have the opportunity to pull off a tripleheader for the first time in his NASCAR career.
The friendship between Smithley and Lyons dials back to nearly a decade when Smithley was instrumental in helping Lyons get established as a professional race car driver.
“Garrett has done so much for me and this was a way of giving back to him and showing how much, I appreciate the sacrifices he made for me,” offered Robby Lyons.
“I know he will do a great job and I’ll be at Texas this weekend supporting the team and Garrett and look forward to seeing him bring home a good finish on Friday night.”
In addition to Chad Finley Racing, Smithley will drive the No. 0 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and pilot the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 31st.
“It will be a memorable weekend for me for sure,” added Smithley. “There are so many people that have allowed me the chance to make my own piece of history this weekend at Texas and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
CFR housed in Mooresville, N.C.-had the intentions to run the full NGTOS schedule this season – but two early setbacks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway respectively, plus the team’s hauler being damaged upon exit of the Atlanta grounds unexpectedly put the team behind.
With a few weeks off and determination from the crew, the team is recharged and ready to return to battle.
“Bob I (Lyons) and I are very proud of our Chad Finley Racing team,” said CFR owner Jeff Finley.
“We had some tough luck to start 2019, but we have worked very hard to hit the reset button and feel like we can go to Texas this weekend with Garrett and show everyone what we’re capable of.
“From Texas, we’ll take the spring break and work hard to make sure we’re in a strong position come Dover in May.”
Smithley, a native of Ligonier, Pa. will make his first Truck Series appearance since Kentucky Speedway in July 2016 and eye his first top-10 in eight career starts.
His effort on Friday night will be supported by Grand Prairie, Tex.-based Trophy Tractor.
Trophy Tractor offers a cost-effective alternative to the purchase and rental of new equipment with quality low hour used equipment. We specialize in the sale and rental of haul trucks, loaders, dozers, scrapers, excavators, compactors, graders and water equipment.
“I really appreciate this honor to drive for Chad Finley Racing and can’t thank Robby (Lyons), Bob (Lyons) and Jeff (Finley) enough for this opportunity with Trophy Tractor,” sounded Smithley. “I’m excited to go to Texas this weekend and help the team build on their program and have an opportunity to contend for a strong finish.
“Texas is a great race track and despite its still relatively new surface, I think it holds the opportunity to showcase a strong race for the fans and competitors. It sure would be great to kick off the weekend with a top-10 finish.”
Motorsports veteran Bruce Cook will continue to lead the operation as crew chief for the team’s third Truck Series race of 2019.
The Vankor 350k (147 laps| 220.5 miles) is the fifth of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., March 28 from 3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 5:05 p.m. – 5:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Mar. 29 beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.