Richard Barnes Photo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – LAVONIA, Ga. – (Dec. 14, 2020) – Garrett Smith turned plenty of heads Saturday during his debut with the Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series at Lavonia Speedway.
The 17-year-old driver initially grabbed attention by setting fast time during qualifying. He then backed up his fast qualifying lap by winning his heat race, earning himself a spot in the redraw for the 40-lap feature.
Luck was on Smith’s side in the redraw, where he drew the pole. He jumped out into the lead at the start of the event, but the brakes in his mount began to fail on lap 10. He would later loose the lead to eventual winner Michael Brown around the halfway mark.
Smith would continue to run in the top-five while doing his best to manage his brakes and his tires before eventually wearing out and blowing a right-rear tire with two laps left. He finished 11th in the 22-car field. Despite falling short of the victory, Smith was extremely happy with his performance during his Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series debut.
“It’s easy to be upset after running at the front like we did and finishing 11th, but we’ve got a lot to be proud of after that performance,” said Smith, who is a Barry Wright Race Cars development driver. “We were fastest in qualifying, we won our heat and we led laps in the feature. That’s more than I could have possibly expected during my Xtreme DIRTcar Series debut. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the offseason.”
Smith’s Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series debut brought to a close a strong season for the Georgia driver that saw him earn three victories in 602 and 604 late model competition at a pair of Georgia tracks – Cochran Motor Speedway and Boyd’s Speedway.
“It really was a great year,” said Smith. “I got to turn a lot of laps this year and we picked up a few wins along the way. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my parents and all of our great partners like Barry Wright Race Cars, Atlanta Paving and Concrete, Wiley X, TMC, BKP Art, MPM Marketing and Dirt Car Lift.”
As Smith now turns his attention to preparing for the 2021 season, he’s proud to announce that he’s signed a contract extension to continue working with McCallister Precision Marketing for another season.
“We welcomed Garrett into the MPM Marketing family in early January and he’s been fantastic to work with,” said McCallister Precision Marketing’s Tonya McCallister. “He’s put so much focus on improving his racing and marketing skills and his performance in Saturday’s race at Lavonia is just another indication that he’s got a great future in racing. We’re proud to have him back with us for the 2021 season.”