Brothers Joel and Jack Smith are Michigan natives turned Carolinians as they chase their racing dreams. Joel won the 2020 Bandolero Bandits East National Championship and won the 2022 Young Lions Asphalt Nationals race at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Little brother Jack is chasing championships of his own, recently finishing second in the 2023 Bandolero Nationals Bandits Feature. They’re competitive amongst each other and they both agree that they’d lose to each other in a head-to-head race. But no matter what, they’ll always be there to support each other.


Hometowns: Temperance, Michigan

Number: 24 (Joel) and 9 (Jack)

Division: Pro (Joel) and Bandits (Jack) 

Team: Mark Nahrstedt Race Cars

Favorite Restaurant: Smoke Pit (Joel) and Bucee’s (Jack)

Favorite Vacation Spot: Disney World

1. How do you look up to your older brother when it comes to racing? 

Jack: He’s been racing for a lot longer, so he knows more stuff than me. That's the main way I look up to Joel. 

2. What are some hobbies/activities you do as brothers besides racing?

Jack: Airsoft and iRacing. 

Joel: Airsoft, iRacing, and we’ll also play chess together. We’ll be pretty competitive with that. 

3. How are you both different from one another? 

Jack: One has more talent and one likes to build stuff more. I like to build stuff more and he has more talent. 

Joel: I will agree he’s a lot more creative than me, or innovative. The biggest difference between us is probably Jack being more innovative. 

4. What is some advice you give to your younger brother about driving? 

Joel: Be smart, be aggressive. Not too aggressive obviously, but always drive with your head. You can win any race on any given day. Anything can always happen, no matter if you're running first or last, you can always win a race. 

5. How has racing impacted your lives as a family?

Jack: It’s been kind of hard because we went from not racing ever and just hunting. We used to live in Michigan, but we had to leave all of that behind. It was hard, but it was the one step we had to make to get closer to the next step up [in racing]. 

Joel: It definitely has impacted our lives more. We’re a lot busier now since we’ve been [racing] as a hobby and now we actually want to go to a bigger level, so it has impacted us.

6. What have you learned from driving a Bandolero that carries over to a Legend Car when you get older?

Jack: It’s never over until it’s over. Round 7 (Summer Shootout) I was dead last and we had a restart. In one lap I went from dead last to first and I ended up winning the race. 

7. When did you both become inspired by racing and when did you start? 

Joel: I’ve been inspired since I was 2 years old. I used to watch NASCAR and I still watch it to this day. When I was 2 years old, I started to love the sport and that’s when I first started getting into it. I started racing in 2018 in quarter-midgets. 

Jack: I was inspired when I was 3 years old watching Jimmie Johnson win the [NASCAR] Cup Championship in 2016. I started racing in 2020 at the Spooktacular in the [Charlotte] fifth-mile. 

8. What’s it like having a sibling having the same passion as you? 

Joel: It’s pretty awesome because we share racing and we both love racing. It’s pretty cool because we're both going to the track doing the exact same thing. It’s not like one of us loves soccer and one loves basketball. We both love racing and we both love the exact same sport so it’s pretty special. 

Jack: It’s interesting, but it’s fun. Very fun. 

9. How do you both motivate each other to become better drivers? 

Joel: We’ll both give each other some pep talks before the race. No matter what happens, do your best. We’ll just tell each other that we can do this because anything can happen. We try to motivate each other to boost our confidence before a race. 

Jack: Just need to go with the flow. Drive smart, drive clean, and don’t wreck your race car. 

10. What’s special about the numbers 9 and 24? Why did you decide to choose those specific numbers? 

Joel: I’m a Jeff Gordon fan, but before I used to be a Chase Elliott fan back when he used to run the 24. When I first saw he ran the 24, I absolutely loved it. That became my favorite number, and then when William Byron took over I’ve loved it ever since.

Jack: I’ve really liked Chase Elliott ever since he ran the 24. It wasn’t really Chase Elliott [though], I just wanted to run the 9. I don’t really know why, I just wanted to pick that number. 

11. What's something you both share in common outside of racing?

Joel: We both like to do a lot of stuff together. We like to go outside and play games, go do iRacing, and do all kinds of stuff together. We're pretty competitive, we always try to make sure we beat each other in those games. 

Jack: We play chess and I beat him 80 percent of the time.

12. What’s it like as a family at the track? 

Joel: It’s a little hectic sometimes because we have to get to the track, but it’s special because they’re here and supporting us. It’s hectic at times, but it’s always worth it. 

Jack: My parents make a lot of sacrifices for me and Joel to come out here and race. You can’t say no to that. They give everything for it [to see us succeed]. 

13. What’s it like being an older brother and what was Jack like when he was younger? 

Joel: When I first started racing, Jack was always competitive and very supportive. He has come to all of my races since then. Never missed one, he always has been really competitive and it’s special to have him at the track here with me. 

14. Between the two of you, who do you think would win in a race and why? 

Joel: I think he would win because he’s smart, he makes really good decisions on the race track. I make good decisions, but I think he makes better decisions than me.  

Jack: Bando’s me, but Legend Cars he’d beat me by five seconds. If we’re talking about iRacing Joel would beat me 24/7.

15. Who eats the most? 

Jack: 100 percent me. 

16. Who is more of a morning person? 

Jack: Me, he’s the one o’clock bird and I’m the early bird. He’s the late bird who gets the worm. 

Joel: I’m the kid that will go to bed at midnight and wake up at 1:00 and not want to do anything sometimes. So, he’s more of a morning person. 

17. Both: Who’s the more laid-back and relaxed brother? 

Jack: Probably Joel. You don’t want to see me when I get mad. 

Joel: Yeah, I’d agree with that. I always make sure I’m calm so probably me. 

18. Do you guys have any pre-race traditions as a family or something you always do pre-race? 

Joel: We always say a prayer before a race, that’s our pre-race tradition. We'll also tell each other good luck and give each other some pep talks.