Creed, 22, and Smith, 21, are teammates at GMS Racing, and along with Brett Moffitt, the organization fills three spots in the 10-driver, seven-race playoff which opens Thursday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Creed’s inaugural win came in a rain-shortened race at Kentucky in July and he added wins on the Daytona Road Course and at Gateway to become the No. 1 seed entering the playoffs.
Smith picked up his first career victory in August at Michigan and another a couple weeks later at Dover, Del. He enters the playoffs as the No. 3 seed.
“This is certainly pretty cool, for sure, but we still have a long way to go,” Creed said Monday. “Going into Bristol this weekend we just need to keep doing our job, though we did struggle some last weekend at Richmond.
“I’m confident we’re going to have speed this weekend and we’re just going to try to score as many points as we can the next couple weeks.”
First-time winner to first-time champion in the same year?
Asked about the journey from earning his first career to win to becoming the No. 1 seed in the playoffs in the same season, Creed said: “I put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel like I expect that out of me.
“It will probably set in later how much work it took to get here. But right now, I don’t know, I feel like I kind…