NASCAR Xfinity: Sammy Smith to start on pole at Atlanta



A week after claiming his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Phoenix Raceway, Sammy Smith will start on the pole for the Raptor King of Tough 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday. Rain at AMS on Friday resulted in the cancellation of Xfinity Series qualifying, so NASCAR set the race starting grid by a formula that includes car owner points and the finishing order and fastest laps in the most recent race.

VIDEO: Sammy Smith talks about starting on the pole at Atlanta

“Last weekend’s win gave me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season,” Smith said. “I knew we would get a win this year, but I’m glad it came early so we can focus on playoff points and getting more wins in. I’m focused on taking everything week by week. I’m excited to get to Atlanta to work on my superspeedway racing. I don’t have a lot of speedway experience, and I feel like the only way to learn is by getting laps in. Our No. 18 Pilot Flying J Supra is going to be fast this week, so I have to work on learning the track at the beginning of the race since we don’t have practice to put us in the best possible position at the end of the race.” 

Smith will share the front row of Saturday’s starting grid with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate John Hunter Ndmechek.

Austin Hill will start third, and a third JGR driver, Ryan Truex, will start fourth to give Gibbs three cars in the first two rows for the initial green flag.

Below, is the complete starting grid for the Raptor King of Tough 250: