For the first time in his career, Jesse Smith is competing on the legendary high banks of the hallowed Daytona International Speedway. Smith is back behind the wheel of a Dodge for the first time since 2008, again teaming up with Child's Tire and...
For the first time in his career, Jesse Smith is competing on the legendary high banks of the hallowed Daytona International Speedway. Smith is back behind the wheel of a Dodge for the first time since 2008, again teaming up with Child's Tire and Hormel Foods, on February 6 for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. Smith hopes to add his name to the list of drivers scoring their first win at a restrictor plate track.
Smith came close to winning his first ARCA race in the 2009 season. In four starts last year, Smith threatened to score wins at Michigan and Kansas only to succumb to racing luck in the closing stages. Top ten finishes in two of his four starts in 2009 has the twenty year old Missouri native optimistic about this weekend's event at the World Center of Racing.
Ending his 2009 season with a solid performance at Kansas last October has set Smith up for a breakout performance at Daytona. Smith hopes to continue his impressive performances into 2010 and continue his momentum throughout the season.
RESTRICTOR PLATE ROOKIE: While Daytona will be Smith's first restrictor plate start of any kind, he participated at an ARCA test at Daytona in December 2008.
A NEW OLD CREW CHIEF: Smith will be reunited with crew chief Bobby Blount for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 after working with Billy Venturini most of last season.
ON THE HOOD: Jesse Smith has continued his relationship with St. Louis tire dealer, Child's Tire, into the 2010 season. Hormel Foods continue to be an integral supporter of Smith and will appear on the #29 Dodge.
(On competing at Daytona for the first time): "The biggest thing is drafting. If you can get some help in the draft all race long, you'll put yourself in a good position. Near the end, you're going to need some friends to help push you to the lead, unlike most other places we race at. It's a little different than most races as far as how hard you run at certain points in the race. You've got to have some luck to be around at the end to have a chance to win. We'll have a strong Child's Tire, Hormel Foods Dodge in order to run up front all day long."
(On the importance of competing at Daytona): "It's a real prestigious track to run well at. I've got to thank Child's Tire, Hormel Foods, and Terry Jones for the opportunity to race at Daytona. It'll help my skill set behind the wheel because it's such a different discipline than most of the other racing that we do. Daytona is by far the most important race to win in any series that competes there, so it's a great chance to prove something, and I know we have a great opportunity to do that and kick the year off in a big way."
-source: jesse smith PR