Home / Smithley gives family a ride to remember at AMS
Smithley gives family a ride to remember at AMS
Aspiring NASCAR driver and former Peachtree City resident, Garrett Smithley, was at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) recently with his employer, Richard Petty Driving Experience.
The Petty organization periodically comes to AMS offering their driver program where anyone can come to various tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit and drive a full-sized race car. They also offer a three lap “ride-along” program for those not interested in getting behind the wheel themselves, but still desire the thrill of the race car experience.
Smithley, a Petty Driving Instructor, “pulled” a number of driver/customers around the AMS 1.5 mile, high-banked oval, before settling in for his first ever “ride-alongs.” Notably, his first rider was 18-year old brother, Kurtis Smithley, of Peachtree City, Georgia for the 165 m.p.h. circuit around AMS. A video of the three lap drive is posted on his web site, www.garrettsmithley.com.
Garrett kept the family affair going with rides for mother, Bethanie and father, R.K. in the milestone event.
“It is pretty wild to be going full bore into turn one at AMS with your son at the wheel and then right up against the backstretch wall,” Bethanie remarked. “He was very smooth on the wheel and gave me a great ride.”
R.K. noted, “It was not lost on me that we started the Petty ride on pit road, right where Garrett won multiple Bandolero and Legend Championships and won many races on the AMS quarter-mile track and road course that winds through the infield. This was a historic day for us all.”
Smithley was appropriately driving a #43 Petty car, the same number he wore on his signature black and gold #43 Bandolero and Legend cars, based at AMS. This past summer he raced simultaneously in the “Summer Shootout” in Charlotte and “Thursday Thunder” at AMS, finishing the Atlanta series championship in second place.
In addition to the local track, he has recently been instructing for the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Next up for Garrett is Legends Nationals competition at AMS in late October in the #43 Peachtree City Golf Cars/Curtsinger Trailer and Truck Sales Legend car.
Garrett currently lives in Kannapolis, North Carolina and is a 2010 graduate of McIntosh High School.
The picture is taken in the Atlanta Motor Speedway, following the event. From left are RK Smithley, Garrett Smithley and Kurtis Smithley. Photo/ Bethanie Smithley.