If you head to the track on a Saturday or Sunday, you’ll likely find Myatt Snider on pit road wearing an NBC hat and shirt. He serves as a pit spotter for his father, Marty, a reporter for NASCAR’s second-half broadcast network. His job is to help identify key storylines of a race, informing millions of viewers at home.
But six times this season, Myatt got to do what he truly loves.
Snider hopped behind the wheel of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 “all-star” Xfinity Series car, piloting the entry on a part-time basis in 2023.
This season, though, looked a lot different than what Snider had been used to. After three years in which he ran every Xfinity Series race, Snider scaled back and prioritized his efforts toward driving a competitive car for fewer races. He ran the 2022 season for Jordan Anderson Racing, where he scored four top 10s and finished 18th in points. A year before that, he won his first Xfinity race and made the playoffs with Richard Childress Racing.
In a perfect world, Snider would like to drive each week and race for a championship, but he’s satisfied with the place he called home in 2023.
“I think this was the best option for me because we could have tried to stretch our sponsorship dollars this year run in lesser equipment,” Snider told The Podium Finish. “Ultimately, we decided that going for wins is better. That’s just a testament to where I’m at in my career. I feel like I know how to win in the Xfinity Series. Getting with an organization that can win is crucial to that.
“I think [JGR is] just very scientific in how they approach everything. Everything is measured and quantified, from driver performance to what went wrong, what went right. They’ve just worked on experimenting over the years, and they’ve really gotten everything down to a science. That’s kind of how I like to approach races. I try and be analytical about everything I do. We’ve meshed really well together.”
With backing from Tree Top, Snider had a unique schedule. He ran the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February, where he finished fifth. Then, it was nearly a fourth-month wait until his sixth-place finish at Portland International Raceway.
Four months later came Snider’s third start, when he finally started getting regular reps beginning at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. He ended the season with starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway — three of the final four races. While the limited schedule created urgency, he said, the backloaded slate allowed him to find a rhythm and get comfortable.
“These last couple stretches of races have been really good for me because I’ve been able to get in a groove, work with the guys, keep it familiar and really kind of started to build something where I can drive it really well,” Snider said. “When you have that big gap between your races, what you don’t see is how your competition changes. Everybody kind of learns how everybody races and sees, you know, ‘this guy does this, this guy does that.’ I had a superspeedway, a road course and then another road course, so I really only got to see what people did on road courses and superspeedways. So seeing how my competition changed on the intermediate and short tracks is something I didn’t get to see until Vegas.
“There’s just there’s some challenges that come along with it, but I think having the expertise of the 19 team and all JGR, they really know what they’re doing and they know how to unload well, so that’s helped me out a lot.”
Snider never finished better than 11th in his final four races, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. He got inside the top three at Martinsville before losing track position and eventually getting caught up in a wreck during the final laps. In the season finale at Phoenix, he started fourth but backed the car into the wall later in the race, resulting in a 22nd-place finish.
He averaged a finish of 12.5 over his six starts, which would be a career-high if extrapolated over a full 33-race schedule.
“I would give myself like a B-minus because there is stuff that I know that I definitely have to improve, but it’s not anything massive,” Snider said. “It’s just little stuff here and there, learning how to drive this equipment specifically. There’s some stuff I’ve actually accomplished that I’ve been working towards for a long time and so that was really gratifying to do that.
“I haven’t been perfect by any means, but I definitely feel like I’ve had speed and had speed at the right time. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. I think for the components, they’re all there. It’s just a matter of putting the puzzle together.”
Snider worked with Jason Ratcliff, who after 801 NASCAR starts, is stepping back from crew chiefing and taking another role within the organization. A 15-time Cup Series winner, Snider got to learn from the veteran leader during his final races on the road.
“He’s just a very calm individual overall. I’m not sure I’ve heard him raise his voice once in the entire time I’ve talked to him,” Snider said. “He’s got a huge amount of experience, so that is only beneficial to me because I’m able to lean on that, lean on him for information and how to do things right. It’s just been helpful.”
Snider feels like he’s found a home in the Xfinity Series, but for 2024, he isn’t sure exactly where that is. The 28-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina is hoping to race full-time next season for a team capable of winning races.
Maybe that home is with Toyota Racing Development and JGR. Maybe it’s with another organization. But regardless — Snider hopes he’s placed himself back on everyone’s radar.
“I’d like to be back full-time in a competitive car. I feel like I belong in the Xfinity Series,” Snider said. “I feel like I’ve proven that I can win here and compete with the best of them every week.”