Garrett Smithley rebukes Kyle Busch to ‘tell my story and defend myself’
Garrett Smithley took to Twitter again on Monday to rebuke Kyle Busch about their contact in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup playoff-opening race in Las Vegas. While Smithley said he understands Busch’s frustration, he insisted he did nothing wrong and chided Busch for not understanding the road Smithley has had to travel to get to where he is today as a race car driver.
“I figured given the events of the race Sunday I would quickly tell my story and defend myself (and the sport for that matter),” Smithley tweeted Monday.
Here’s Smithley’s tweet Monday, which we have transcribed in its entirety:
“Hey everyone, I figured given the events of the race Sunday I would quickly tell my story and defend myself (and the sport for that matter). Starting tomorrow, we’re focused on Richmond!
“I didn’t grow up in a racing family, and we certainly didn’t have the funds to race. The only race car my parents ever bought was a used Bandolaro race car when I was 15. I didn’t think I had a chance starting that late. We won enough that a local golf cart shop owner sponsored me and bought me a Legends car. I raced Legends cars in the southeast and won more races & championships.
“When I decided to move to Charlotte to pursue a career as a professional driver there is no doubt I had to basically give up the chance to win races in order to ‘fund’ getting the opportunity to race.
“You see, I am one of only a handful of drivers that actually has never spent any of my own money to race. So spending money to go win in a late model was never an option, because the only way I can afford to race is if someone else pays for it. Companies & sponsors have a hard time justifying money to run a competitive late model or even truck, when for the same or often much less they can sponsor a NXS or Cup car. The truth is for many of these companies, they know unless they spend the money it takes to sponsor someone like Kyle, they more than likely will not get the marketing value to justify that spend. However, they can justify a spend to be involved in the ‘big show’ to entertain guest(s), etc., for much, much less. The sponsors you see on my cars, Victory Lane Quick Oil Change, Trophy Tractor, FAME … they are real companies supporting NASCAR, and seeing the value of its 65+ million fans. I sell my own sponsorship to afford me the opportunity to do this.
“So about last night …
“1. I am not mad at Kyle and I get his frustration. I wish that situation would’ve turned out differently but what happened happened.
“2. Nobody that is considered ‘in the way’ wants to be. We are simply doing the best we can.
“3. Even though sometimes we ALL feel like this ‘sucks’ so bad or why won’t NASCAR ‘fix’ it, we have to remember, it’s not that easy. NASCAR is making positive changes but this is a multi-billion-dollar industry. It all takes time.
“4. I do think I can be competitive in the right equipment and I will even go a step further and say, with time and equal funding my teams with Rick Ware Racing, Johnny Davis Motorsports can be competitive too.
“5. As my friend Ross would say, ‘The Sun will come up in the morning!
“Thanks for all the support – Garrett.”
As of 7:35 p.m. ET, Busch had not replied to Smithley’s latest missive.
On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, analysts Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte and Nate Ryan discussed Busch’s reaction to the Smithley incident.
Here are a couple of the initial exchanges between Smithley and Busch after Sunday’s race:
I was told to run middle so that’s where i was committed. Never got the memo. Sorry you got wrecked— Garrett Smithley (@GarrettSmithley) September 16, 2019