Chandler Smith Earns Top-10 Finish in Trucks Debut at Iowa in the Safelite AutoGlass Tundra
Sixteen-year-old Chandler Smith made his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway, and earned a top-10 finish in the No. 51 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra. In the first practice session, Smith was the fastest, and in final practice he was 18th on the board. On Saturday afternoon, qualifying was washed out and the field was set per the rule book, giving the pole position to the No. 51. The weather did not subside, so the race was postponed to Sunday morning.
As the race began, Smith reported that he could not hear his team over the radio, and he led the first 55 laps with no communication, before pitting under caution for repairs. The long stop and a subsequent speeding penalty set the young driver back in traffic, but he was able to rebound for an eighth-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Qualifying for the event was canceled due to weather and the field was set per the rule book, giving the pole position to Smith.
- Smith jumped to the lead as soon as the green flag flew, but almost immediately reported that he could not hear his team over the radio.
- Despite having no communications with his spotter or crew chief Rudy Fugle, the young driver led the first 55 laps before the first caution came out, enabling the team to signal to the driver to pit for four tires and radio repairs.
- At the stage conclusion, Smith was 15th and Fugle kept him on track to regain track position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Smith started the second stage in in the 14th position, but was within the top 10 in less than 10 laps, and had regained the top five by lap 82.
- The talented teenager told his crew that his Safelite AutoGlass Tundra was driving like a beauty as he navigated through traffic, then eventually reported that the machine began to get a little tight.
- Smith was able to finish the stage in fourth.
- Fugle called him to pit road at the end of the stage for four tires and fuel, and the young driver was hit with a speeding penalty on pit road.
Stage Three Recap:
- Smith began the final stage at the tail end of the field to serve his penalty.
- By lap 148, the No. 51 was back in the top 10, but Smith reported that his Tundra was tight.
- He was unable to gain much more track position, but eventually would earn an eighth-place finish in his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start.
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