Garrett Smithley has found a full-time home for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, as BJ McLeod Motorsports has announced Smithley as the driver of their No. 78 Chevrolet Camaro for next year.
According to a press release from BJ McLeod Motorsports, Smithley will have longtime sponsorship partner Trophy Tractor as the anchor partner for the No. 78 car next season.
For team owner BJ McLeod, this is a chance that he feels Smithley has earned due to his scrappy path throughout his career and his underlying talent behind the wheel.
“I’ve raced with Garrett (Smithley) for several years now, and respect his path, talent and passion,” said McLeod in a team release. “I often tell people that he has ‘made it,’ and most people do not understand what I mean by that. His story is truly one of hard work, passion and talent. The ability Garrett has shown behind the wheel for several years including racing around me is something that I wish more people had a front row seat like I have. Jessica (McLeod) and I are so honored to have Garrett represent and drive for us. The future is bright.”
The driver is excited to get to work with BJMM, as he has always held McLeod in high regard.
“I’ve always had great respect for BJ (McLeod) and his organization,” said Smithley. “To compete at this level is extremely difficult. Very few understand the effort and sacrifices it takes. For almost a decade BJ has fielded a race car or truck at the NASCAR national level. The entire team is not trying to hide behind the struggles of the last several months, or even years. I wholeheartedly believe that, with some hard work and focus we can surprise some people in this community with some great runs and results. I’m thankful for the continued support of Jeff and Maxx Miller and their team at Trophy Tractor. I’m looking forward to the opportunity with this entire group.”
Smithley, 30, is a career journeyman in the NASCAR National Series ranks. The native of Pennsylvania has made a total of 229 starts between the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series over the course of his career and the starts have come with a plethora of organizations.
By far, Smithley has had the most success in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.
Smithley has a career-best finish of fifth, which came at Daytona International Speedway in 2018, and he has amassed five top-10 finishes in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.
The announcement of Smithley as the full-time driver will give the No. 78 team some stability in 2023. A total of seven drivers, Smithley included, have piloted the No. 78 car during the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
While Josh Williams was scheduled to be full-time in the car this season, Williams parted ways with the team in August after 19 starts together.