DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Garrett Smithley survived a wild Xfinity Series season opener Saturday and scored the best finish of his career.


Smithley finished eighth in the Flex Shot Chevrolet in the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway despite being involved in two multi-car accidents. “What a great start to the season,” Smithley said. “We were able to bounce back from being in a couple of wrecks and get a great finish. The guys did a really good job.”


The wreck-happy race was red-flagged twice. Smithley was swept into a 20-car wreck on lap 24 and into a 16-car crash on lap 105. Team owner Johnny Davis was excited about Smithley’s finish and an overall great day for his three-car team. Harrison Rhodes finished 10th, and Ross Chastain was 16th.

“I think we were the only three-car team that had three still running, but I owe it all to God for watching over these boys and to the hard work and underpaid workers that believe in our goal to beat the best,” Davis said. Ryan Reed won Saturday’s race, his second series victory.


The circuit moves on to Atlanta Motor Speedway for a March 4 race