FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – CONCORD, N.C. – (Nov. 7, 2021) – Rising dirt late model star Garrett Smith ran the race of his life Saturday night.
Competing with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series during the NGK NTK World of Outlaws World Finals, Smith battled with superstars like Brandon Sheppard and Jonathan Davenport for the race win before ultimately finishing second in front of a sold out crowd at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“It feels amazing,” said Smith, a native of Eatonton, Ga. “It’s fun racing with these guys. They’re really talented and just to learn from them and learn how to race other people. It’s been a good weekend. It’s just fun to watch and learn from these veterans.”
It was the culmination of a strong weekend for Smith, who finished 14th in Friday’s first race of the World Finals. He returned to the track Saturday and quickly went to work, setting fast time in his qualifying group before winning his heat race later in the program.
His heat race win meant Smith could take part in the redraw, where he drew lucky number two, which gave him a spot on the front row alongside four-time World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series champion Sheppard.
Sheppard took the lead at the start, with Smith settling into second. However, as Sheppard caught traffic Smith closed in and passed him to take the race lead. Davenport was right on his heels, slipping past Smith to take the lead of the race shortly thereafter.
Smith wasn’t going to give up that easily. He stayed with Davenport and when the dirt late model ace got caught in traffic, Smith slipped past him to regain the race lead. A few quick cautions followed, with Smith surviving until a restart with 21 laps left.
One lap after the restart, Davenport used a big run out of turn two to drive under Smith and regain the lead. Davenport led the rest of the way from there, but Smith stayed steady and ran the rest of the race in second.
All told, 18-year-old Smith led eight laps on his way to his career-best finish with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series. It was a night he won’t soon forget.
“It felt good to lead some of those laps,” Smith said. “Honestly it kind of surprised me when Davenport threw the first slider and slid across my nose. I had no idea he was that close. It was definitely wild and fun. It was definitely a confidence booster.
“Cody Mallory has been working for me now for about a month and we’ve finally clicked. I think we’ve got it going right now. I was just coming here trying to make the race and we ended up having speed all weekend. It turned out to be a really good weekend.”
Garrett Smith would like to thank all of his fans, friends and family, his crew and his sponsors Schaeffer’s Oil, MPM Marketing, Base Racing Fuel & Oil, Dirtcarlift, Swift Springs, BKP Art, Wiley X, ProFabrication, Inc, K1 RaceGear, Atlanta Paving and Terminal Maintenance & Construction (TMC) for all of their support.