Chandler Smith Looks For Better Finish At Pocono

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: CRC Brakleen 150, Race 13 of 22, 60 Laps – 15/15/30; 150 Miles
Location: Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (2.5-mile tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: June 26, 2021 at noon ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90

Mr. Smith Goes to Pocono:

Chandler Smith will look to turn the momentum of his recent stretch of strong runs into a victory lane birthday celebration at Pocono Raceway this weekend. The talented teenager will celebrate his 19th birthday Saturday behind the wheel of the JBL Tundra in the 60-lap shootout. It will be Smith’s first Truck Series start at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, but he has an average finish of 5.0 across his two ARCA Menards Series starts at The Tricky Triangle, including a runner-up finish last June. Smith will be pulling double-duty this weekend, as he will be piloting the No. 25 Safelite AutoGlass Camry in the ARCA Menards Series event on Friday. It will be his first ARCA Menards Series start this season.

The Georgia native is coming off one of his strongest runs of the season last week in the Camping World Truck Series event at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. He put the Safelite AutoGlass Tundra out front for a race-high 48 laps, picked up his first stage win of the season in Stage Two, but was shuffled back after getting put four-wide on a late restart and ended up finishing in the 13th position. In the two events prior, he registered a fifth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and fifth-place finish at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Over the last two events, Smith has earned 85 points, second in the series to Zane Smith’s 87. With his strong runs, the Toyota Racing Development driver has moved himself above the cutoff line for the playoffs. While he currently sits 11th in the standings, Grant Enfinger missed one race and is not eligible for the playoffs, moving Smith up to 10th on the playoff grid. With three races remaining in the regular season, he sits 15 points ahead of Johnny Sauter for the coveted 10th and final playoff spot.

Across 11 starts this season, Smith has two top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 17.3. He produced a season-best result of fourth at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. He sits second in Rookie of the Year standings, 15 points behind Carson Hocevar. Smith has earned the rookie of the race award five times this season. The Toyota Racing Development driver has 10 top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes across 28 career Camping World Truck Series starts, including a career-best runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2019.

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, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.3 across three starts at Pocono. Stockman was atop the pit box when Brandon Jones collected his first career Camping World Truck Series victory in last year’s race at The Tricky Triangle.

JBL, the authority in engineering superior sound, will be the primary sponsor for the No. 18 team this week at Pocono and at the series next two stops July 9 at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway and Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Speedway. Safelite AutoGlass – the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services – returns to Smith’s Tundra Aug. 20 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

Chandler Smith | Pocono Preview
You led some laps and won a stage last week at Nashville. How did it feel to be running back up front?
“It was definitely awesome. Overall, to get my driver confidence – I wouldn’t say back up – it’s pretty high especially after the last few races we’ve had. For me to get my first stage win with Danny and Safelite on board, it was a good experience.”

You’re doing double duty this weekend. How beneficial will it be to get some more laps around Pocono before the truck race?

“Yes, just overall seat time. The ARCA car and truck are similar in a way with the same fundamentals at Pocono such as throttle control. Overall, just getting seat time is key at these tracks especially with no practice for me.”

Pocono is known as the tricky triangle. What’s the trickiest part about Pocono?

“For me, it’s getting through Turn 3. It’s a really flat, high-speed corner. When you’re back in traffic, at least when I was in an ARCA car, if you didn’t have clean air through Turn 3 in traffic, it got really tight. Trying to manipulate the air a little bit and find clean air and being able to maintain good speed is probably the trickiest part for me.”

Chandler Smith Career Highlights:

Across 28 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded 187 laps led, 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.5.

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 JBL Tundra:

KBM-060: The No. 18 JBL team will unload chassis number KBM-060 for Saturday’s 60-lap event at Pocono. Brandon Jones picked up his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Pocono with the same Tundra last year and KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch was victorious with this chassis at Las Vegas last March. Smith drove KBM-60 to a season-best fourth-place finish at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April in its lone start this season.

KBM Notes of Interest:

Across 26 starts at Pocono Raceway, KBM drivers have earned five wins, two poles, 244 laps led, 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 8.1 and an average finish of 9.1.

Brandon Jones picked up his first career Truck Series victory in last year’s race. Busch won in 2015 and 2018, William Byron was victorious in 2016, and Christopher Bell brought home the hardware in 2017.
KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (87) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Martin Truex Jr. became the 16th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).

The No. 18, the number which was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 21 career victories.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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