Author: Reina Garcia
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — He hasn't even turned 18 yet, but Johnston native Sammy Smith has already built up an impressive resume. He's the reigning ARCA Menards Series East champion, and so far, he's on track to successfully defend his title.
It all started with go karts almost a decade ago.
"Harrold Annett, Mr. Annett that used to own TMC. You know, I feel like he got me into it. He and my dad," said Smith. "I've been going ever since, trying to make a career out of it." Now, the 17-year-old is making that dream come true and taking the stock car racing scene by storm. "I think it's you know, just the speed," said Smith. "I'm able to go out and try to win and compete side by side with 43 other cars and try to outduel them."
Over a three year span, he's racked up over 30 victories. While his resume speaks for itself, being a teen can sometimes cause him to be overlooked by his competition.
"There's a lot of young guys my age, and you'll have a couple veterans that come in that are super good as well," said Smith. "So, I think you know, just have to keep working hard and try to prepare myself the best on and off the track as I can and keep trying to do everything I can to win."
The next task is winning the next race in the 2022 ARCA Menards Series East schedule, the Calypso Lemonade 150. It's being held in his home state at the Iowa Speedway on June 11.
Smith currently leads the series and is coming off of a win at the Music City 200 in Nashville. He's hoping to stay on top of the standings by getting a win in front of his home crowd.
"Hopefully I can go get the checkered flag for everyone," said Smith.
The race is slated to start at 8:00 p.m. There will be a driver autograph session taking place underneath the grandstand before driver introductions. Tickets to the Calypso Lemonade 150 can be purchased at any Menards location or online.