NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: SpeedyCash.com 220, Race 11 of 22, 147 Laps – 35/35/77; 220.5 Miles
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile quad-oval)
Date/Broadcast: June 12, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Mr. Smith Goes to The Lone Star State:
Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team head to Texas Motor Speedway this week for the SpeedyCash.com 220. Smith was relegated to a 21st-place finish in his lone start at Texas last October. Smith had a fast Tundra, finishing third in the opening stage and sixth in Stage Two, before an unfortunate series of events occurred. He was running fifth when he made his final scheduled pit stop of the event but lost several positions when he was unable to exit his pit stall cleanly due to a competitor in front of him being at the back of his pit stall. After starting at the rear of the field on the ensuing restart, he made his way just outside the top 10 before contact from another competitor sent him into the wall and caused significant damage.
Smith has posted two top-five finishes on mile-and-a-half tracks in his young career, finishing fifth at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway in 2020. His best result this year in four starts on 1.5-mile tracks was a sixth-place finish at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the Camping World Truck series most recent event.
Smith’s sixth-place finish at Charlotte allowed him to close the gap on the 10th and final spot in the Camping World Truck Series playoffs. He currently sits 10 points behind Johnny Sauter for that coveted spot with five races remaining in the regular season. Across 10 starts this season, Smith has one top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 19.0. He produced a season-best result of fourth at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. He sits second in Rookie of the Year standings, 53 points behind Carson Hocevar. Smith has earned the rookie of the race award four times this season. The Toyota Racing Development driver has nine top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes across 26 career Camping World Truck Series starts, including a career-best runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2019.
Smith spent his off weekend from Truck Series racing competing in a Super Late Model race Friday, June 4 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. He set the fast time in qualifying, started fourth after the invert and led from lap 15 to 68 of the 100-lap event before engine issues ended his night.
Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman will call the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team this season. Stockman led the No. 51 team to four wins in his first season atop the pit box at KBM in 2020. He came to the organization with experience as a crew chief in all three national series, including a Truck Series championship with Austin Dillon in 2011 and an Xfinity Series championship with Dillon in 2013. Stockman’s Camping World Truck Series drivers have one win, three top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.0 across six starts at Texas. Stockman called the shots for Kyle Busch’s victory in The Lone Star State last July.
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) eight wins at Texas are equal to the organization-best eight they have recorded at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Owner-driver Kyle Busch’s victory at Texas last July was his fourth for his organization (2010, 2014, 2019 & 2020). Greg Biffle (2020), Christopher Bell (2017), William Byron (2016) and Erik Jones (2015) all have one victory for KBM at Texas.
KBM has collected the trophy at all four mile-and-a-half races in 2021, with John Hunter Nemechek winning at Charlotte and Las Vegas while Kyle Busch brought home the trophy at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. KBM drivers have combined to lead 70.1% (379/538) of the total laps in the four races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
Safelite AutoGlass – the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services – will be the primary sponsor of Smith’s Tundra this weekend at Charlotte and for 15 races total this season. Smith General Contracting and Fairfield Residential will be associate partners on the bedtop of the No. 18 Toyota for Friday’s 147-lap event.
Chandler Smith | Texas Preview
Do you have confidence heading into Texas, which is similar to Charlotte where you just finished sixth?
“I definitely have confidence building up heading to Texas after the strong run at Charlotte. They are similar tracks with their own characteristics, but at the end of the day, they are still mile-and-a-halves. Our 1.5-mile program is getting stronger, so I’m looking forward to Texas and having a good starting position with our Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra to get on out there and let it rip.”
With racing at Texas last year, are you able to prepare better for a track that you’ve already raced at?
“Racing at Texas last year is going to be a big help going back this weekend. Texas 1 and 2 is kind of a difficult corner to an extent with all the air and stuff, being in dirty air, and how to make lap time in dirty air. Having some experience behind me going back there is going to help. I’m looking forward to it.”
You ran a Super Late Model over the off weekend. Although it’s not the same as a truck, how beneficial is getting extra seat time with not having a lot of practice this year?
“It’s huge. It’s always keeping my feet wet in racing something even on the off weekend is big. Anything I can get my hands on for some seat time. Super Late Models are always preferred. I love racing those things. Every time I get in one, I learn something new every single time. It’s really beneficial. The car control and handling you have to have to be good in those things is insane, but I love racing them. It’s always fun to race them on an off weekend.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
Across 26 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded 139 laps led, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.9.
Posted an average finish of 7.7 across his final seven of 12 total Truck Series starts in 2020, including third-place finishes in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway and his first career superspeedway start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October.
Produced three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.2 across his first four career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in 2019. He led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Gander Trucks debut at Iowa Speedway last July and then posted top-five finishes in his final three starts, including a runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1761 laps led, 22 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.2 across 33 career ARCA Menards Series starts. Set an ARCA Racing Series record by winning four consecutive poles to start his career and earned his first victory after leading a race-high 102 laps at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway in his fourth series start.
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
KBM-070: The No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team will unload chassis number KBM-070 for Saturday’s 147-lap event at Texas. It’s the same Tundra that Smith drove to a sixth-place finish at Charlotte in the series most recent event. The Toyota also had a 19th-place finish with Smith earlier this year at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in its debut race.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!