Sammy Smith and the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Super Late Model team open up the month of July with three of the biggest races on their 2020 schedule. Smith will pilot the No. 51 TMC Transportation Camry July 4 at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway Complex in an event co-sanctioned by the CARS Tour and the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the Slinger Nationals July 7 at Slinger Speedway and the Red Bud 400 July 13 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway.
Smith, a 16-year-driver in his first season at KBM, started off the 2020 season with a dominant opening night victory and fourth-place finish in the point standings for the Super Late Model division of the World of Asphalt at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in February. The Iowa native has scored top-five finishes in the Star Nursery 100 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, which was won by KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch, and the prestigious Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston.
The opening event on Smith’s early July tour will take place at Jennerstown Speedway, a .522-mile oval located about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The 200-lap feature will pay $20,000 win. The 16-year-old driver’s appearance in the event marks the first time that KBM has competed at the Pennsylvania track. However, Smith did compete with a Pro Late Model team for one race at Jennerstown last season, where he started 14th and finished 12th.
A pay-per-view broadcast of the Thomas Automotive American Freedom 300 at Jennerstown Speedway will be available on July 4 beginning at 7:00 p.m.
After Saturday’s event, the team will pack up and head 10 hours northwest to compete in the 41st Annual Slinger Nationals on Tuesday July 7. KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch picked up a win for his organization in the prestigious event at the high-banked oval located 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee in 2011. Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth is the winningest driver in Slinger Nationals history, he picked up his eighth win in last year’s event. Other notable winners of the event at the World’s Fastest Quarter Mile Oval include NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin (1984), former Cup Series champion Alan Kulwicki (1981), former Cup Series drives Dick Trickle (1982, 1983, 1985 and 1989), Rich Bickle Jr. (1992, 1996, 2003, and 2013) and Butch Miller (1988 and 1995).
A pay-per-view broadcast of the Slinger Nationals at Slinger Speedway will be available.
After Slinger, the team will head make the 13-hour trek back to KBM’s headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., and quickly regroup before heading almost nine hours back to the Midwest to compete in the Red Bud 400 July 13 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, another high-banked quarter mile located 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis. KBM has brought home the trophy from the prestigious event twice, with Busch winning in 2009 and current NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series driver Raphael Lessard claiming the title in 2018. Other notable winners of the Red Bud include former KBM Truck Series champion and current Cup Series driver Erik Jones (2015), and former Cup Series drivers Dick Trickle (1987-1988), Mark Martin (1978, 1981, 1985-1986), Alan Kulwicki (1982), Butch Miller (1989) Tiny Lund (1974). This year’s event will pay $15,000 to win.
A pay-per-view broadcast of the Red Bud 400 at Anderson Speedway will be available on Speed 51.com.
Sammy Smith, Driver Q&A
How has your first season at KBM gone so far?
“It has been a great experience. I’m learning a lot and building some strong friendships with great people. We have some work to do to get where we want to be, but the guys at KBM are some of the best at it! I really appreciate all the knowledge and hard work that Seth (Holbrook, crew chief) and all the guys bring to the team. Kyle and Rudy Fugle’s coaching and leadership has been priceless. I feel very fortunate to get the opportunity to drive the TMC Transportation Camry.”
You have three races that are all 200 laps or greater on this swing. How do you prepare for and approach the long races?
“I have worked hard on my conditioning and hydration away from the track and have watched a lot of video. Our team has a good plan for these races and we are excited to get to these tracks.”
You were able to race at Jennerstown last year, how will that help you going back this year with KBM?
“Anytime you get to return to a race track it’s a good thing. When you get to return with a team like KBM, even better! It will be a tough field, but I feel like we are prepared.”
What does mean as a young driver to race in such a prestigious race like the Slinger Nationals that has been won by your owner Kyle Busch and notable NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin in the past?
“It is an honor to be able to race a such a historical track and follow in the footsteps of great racers like Kyle, Matt and Mark.”
How did your tests at Anderson and Slinger go last month?
“The tests went well. We worked through our notebook and got some great track time in. Both races will be stacked and we’ll approach both races with running all the laps, learn throughout the race and be there at the end to compete for a strong finish with our TMC Transportation Camry.”
Notable wins for the KBM Late Model team since its inception in 2007 include: Wisconsin All-Star 100 at the Milwaukee Mile (Kyle Busch 2008), Red Bud 300 at Anderson Speedway (Kyle Busch 2009 and Raphael Lessard 2018), Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway (Kyle Busch 2009, Erik Jones 2013 & 2014 and Noah Gragson 2017), Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (Noah Gragson 2018, Kyle Busch 2009 & 2017 & Erik Jones 2013), SpeedFest at Lanier National Speedway (Kyle Busch 2009 & 2010), SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway (Kyle Busch 2012), Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway (Kyle Busch 2010, 2011 & 2012), All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville (TJ Reaid 2010), Slinger Nationals at Slinger Super Speedway (Kyle Busch 2011), the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (Kyle Busch 2011), Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway (Kyle Busch 2013), the Howie Lettow Memorial at the Milwaukee Mile (Kyle Busch 2013 and Erik Jones 2014), the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway (Christopher Bell 2015), the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway (Kyle Busch, 2018) and Short Track U.S. Nationals (Raphael Lessard, 2018).
TMC Transportation is the nation’s largest employee-owned open deck transportation company. TMC provides expert transportation services and supply-chain management solutions throughout the 48 contiguous states. Founded in 1972, TMC is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and is known for its integrity, innovation, superior safety record and dedication to quality and customer service. The company’s claim-free, on-time delivery record is the best in the business and is consistently recognized by its customers. Visit us at www.tmctrans.com.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!