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Tj Smith – 2018 Year in Review – Rewritten Record Books

Sprint Car Insider- Driver Exclusive: FRESNO, Ca. (December 6, 2018) – The numbers behind Tj Smith’s 2018 season are simply mind-boggling.

Highlighted by his 25 wins, five titles, his second consecutive Clay Cup podium, and numerous stand-out performances, there are many other lesser-known statistics that pop off the screen when looking at Tj Smith’s overall season.

Perhaps more impressive than his 25 wins and 46 top 5’s, was the fact he only finished outside of the top 10 a total of four times all season long. That is counting the wing and non-wing class. The official number: .07%. Tj Smith only finished outside of the top ten in .07% of every race he entered. That kind of consistency is unheard of, but the numbers don’t lie.

A statement made by Jason Meyers at the Mark Hagopian Memorial continues to ring true – “With that much success there’s only one explanation, it’s the driver.”

There are so many external elements outside of a racers control opposed to other sports. Cars can fail, no manufacturing is perfect, and you cannot control others around you. However, somehow, Tj Smith minimized any microscopic window of catastrophe all season long.

They say consistency wins championships. Perhaps that explains why Smith walks away from 2018 as Champion of every series he entered.

Tj strapped in and lined up to take the green flag in main event competition 55 times, and won 25 of them. That is an astounding 45% of the races entered. In addition, his top-5 percentage totals out to be a staggering 83%. His Top -10 percentage is even more jaw-dropping, at 92%. Not only was he in the top 5 in 83% of all his races, but he also ran 2nd an additional 10 times, equaling 35 times out of 55 races he finished either first or second.

Regardless of the discipline, those numbers put him into the upper echelon of elite racers throughout history, period. Such domination has only been displayed by the likes of Kinser, Schatz, Schumacher (Tony and Michael), Carmichael, Force, and very few others who can boast such high win percentages in any discipline or level of racing.

Perhaps, even more bewildering, looking back, it’s hard to remember the early part of the season was dismal for Smith. It took nearly a month for Smith to find the winners circle, but once he did, the ball was not only rolling, it was steam rolling.

Smith picked up his first of 25 wins on May 4, at Delta Speedway. Which brings up another unique element to the 2018 season. Despite having raced in this region of the country well over a decade, Tj Smith had never been given the opportunity to run for a Delta Speedway track Championship. So with the opportunity presenting itself, it was decided early on that Smith would contest the entire Delta Speedway campaign in addition to Plaza Park, Lemoore, and the King of California. Before the season even began, the Salmon Motorsports team was well aware they were staring down a 50+ race campaign.

After his May 4th victory at Delta, the floodgates opened. He swept the very next weekend at Plaza and Lemoore for the first time in 2018. Then he turned around and drove to his first King of California victories the very next weekend at Dixon and Delta. Before he knew it, Smith was on a 6 race win streak that wouldn’t be stopped until night two of the Tachi Palace Nationals.

The stretch following the Palace Nationals may have been the only blemish on his entire season. Although he picked up a single victory during the time, he rolled into SPEEDWEEK with only 7 wins on the year, and was maybe even a bit overlooked by the competition.

What a mistake that was.

Tj Smith showed everyone why he was already a two-time California Speedweek Champion. His composure after getting beat on night one translated into an animal like state of ferocity. On night two at Delta he catapulted himself into the number one contender status once again as the series embarked on the closing rounds.

Again, on night three at Plaza, someone poked the bear. That proved to be a costly mistake for the competition.

Tj Smith spared no mercy on any competitors during the finale. He came back and delivered a dominating performance for the ages once again to close out Speedweek at Lemoore Raceway. He once again rewrote the history books. T.J Smith added his name to yet another chapter in history. He became a three-time California Speedweek Champion in dominating fashion. Out of only four Speedweeks to have ever taken place, Smith holds the title of Champion to three of them. Moreover, Smith has more Bears in his arsenal than any other driver to have ever competed in the series.

After Speedweek it was just lights out.

He continued to deny anyone the opportunity to earn wins in the King of California series. He dominated his home tracks of Lemoore and Plaza Park, but at Delta he dealt with quite a fight. A young man by the name of Caden Searle kept Smith honest all season long, and it helped to keep him on his toes.

However, after a second consecutive Podium performance at the Clay Cup Nationals, Smith returned to the Golden State to light up the stat sheet in August and September. Highlighting his September was once again driving to victory at the coveted Mark Hagopian Memorial. By that point in the season Smith had already wrapped up the Speedweek title, sealed the deal on Plaza’s crown, could have spent his Saturday’s at bar and still won Lemoore’s title, and not even shown up for the remainder of the King of California series, and he would have still been crowned.

But he decided to close out all of his title campaigns with exclamation points! He closed out Lemoore with a runner-up bout but, picked up a win with a wing on for the second time in 2018. Then it was all about the King of California.

He went up to Dixon and Delta for Rd 15 and 16 and swept another weekend. His sweep of the final weekend denied any other non-wing driver of earning multiple victories of the season. His final win of the weekend came after a nose to nose battle with Ben Worth. When he claimed the checkers for the 24th time he officially became the Delta Speedway champion for the first time in his career as well.

Tj Smith set out to win five titles and did exactly that.

It was a career year for Tj Smith. After it was all said and done, Smith came away with 25 victories in 55 starts, 46 Top-5 finishes, 10 additional runner-up bids, and 51 Top-ten finishes. To put the icing on the cake, he also delivered a come-from-behind, Disney movie worthy, storied performance at this year’s Turkey Bowl at Delta Speedway as well. No one will soon forget that night.

Tj Smith delivered it all in 2018. From this point forward he has his sights set on achieving the one goal that has alluded him his entire career – Hoisting a Golden Driller within the confines of the Tulsa Expo Center in January.

Undoubtedly Tj Smith embarks on this journey as the preeminent favorite to clean house. As if he hadn’t t already, Tj Smith solidified his status as one of the greatest Micro Sprint racers in history during 2018. Much to the delight of his competition, Smith is entertaining and seeking higher avenues of racing into the future, as he has well earned.

But there’s still one box to check.

No matter how far Smith takes his racing efforts he will not be complete without a Driller. But this year everyone has him on their radar and it would mark the perfect ending for a storybook season. Many are calling for a performance reminiscent of another young man with high aspirations who took the Shootout by storm last year.

Be on the lookout for Tj Smith as he takes his show on the road for the annual pilgrimage to Tulsa Oklahoma for the 34th running of the Tulsa Shootout. Be sure to stay right here on Sprint Car Insider for all the latest breaking news, results, and Information on Smith, and all your favorite drivers, as the look to bring home the glory.

On the Horizon for Tj Smith

34th Annual Tulsa Shootout

January 1-5, 2019

Tulsa Expo Center

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tj Smith – Final 2018 Statistics

Features: 55

Wins: 25

(23 Non-Wing/ 2 Super 600)

Top 5s‘: 46

Top 10s: 51

2nd Place: 10

Percentages:

Winning: 45%

Top 5: 83%

Top 10: 92%

Outside Top 10: .07%

 

Titles: 5 *All Entered*

1. (California Speedweek) 2 Wins

2. (King of California) 10 Wins

3. (Delta Speedway) 9 Wins

4. (Plaza Park Raceway) 4 Wins

5. (Lemoore Raceway) 7 Wins

Wins Per Track:

Dixon: 3

Delta: 10

Plaza: 4

Lemoore: 8

Total: 25

Wins:

1. May 4, 2018 – Delta Speedway

2. May 11, 2018 – Plaza Park

3. May 12, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway

4. May 18, 2018 – Dixon Speedway (KofC)

5. May 19, 2018 – Delta Speedway (KofC)

6. May 25, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway (Tachi)

7. June 9, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway (KofC)

8. June 27, 2018 – Delta Speedway (CA SW)

9. June 30, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway CA SW

10. July 7, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway

11. July 13, 2018 – Dixon Speedway (KofC)

12. July 14, 2018 – Delta Speedway (KofC)

13. August 4, 2018 – Delta Speedway (nw)

14. August 4, 2018 – Delta Speedway (super)

15. August 10, 2018 – Plaza Park (KofC)

16. August 11, 2018 -Lemoore Raceway (KofC)

17. August 25, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway

18. September 2, 2018 – Delta Speedway

19. September 7, 2018 – Plaza Park (KofC)

20. September 15, 2018 – Delta Speedway

21. September 22, 2018 – Plaza Park **Mark Hagopian Memorial**

22. September 29, 2018 – Lemoore Raceway *Super 600*

23. October 5, 2018 – Dixon Speedway (KofC)

24. October 6, 2018 – Delta Speedway (KofC)

25. October 27, 2018 – Delta Speedway *TURKEY BOWL XVIII*

Wins Per Track:

Dixon: 3

Delta: 10

Plaza: 4

Lemoore: 8

Total: 25

Make sure to follow Sprint Car Insider on Facebook, @SCI_updates on twitter or visit our website – sprintcarInsider.co for or all of the updates on Tyler Smith as he continues his assault on the 2018 campaign.

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Or Follow Tj (Tyler) and his racing efforts personally at

Twitter: @salmonmotorsports

Facebook: Tyler Smith

Instagram: @t.smith1421

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On the Horizon for Tyler Smith

34th Annual Tulsa Shootout

January 1-5, 2019

Tulsa Expo Center

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Sprint Car Insider is the exclusive print division of DIRT CO Media House. Covering everything from Jr Sprints to the world of Outlaws SCI is your source for behind the scenes information, up to the minute coverage and racing entertainment.

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JJ Cox View All

JJ Cox -
Lead Contributor of Sprint Car Insider.
Sole Proprietor of Prodigy Race Promotions.
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Fresno State Bulldog - Broadcasting and Public Relations.
Grew up going to 50+ Sprint Car races a year and Raced Motocross for 10 years.
Die Hard Dirt Race Fan
Just a rolling stone.

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