Chandler Smith, No. 16 Quick Tie Products Chevrolet Camaro
- Chandler Smith qualified sixth for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway.
- The race opened with two quick cautions, the first of which forced Smith to slow to avoid the spinning No. 7 on lap four. The race restarted on lap 13 after its second yellow, running green for the remainder of the first stage. Smith took fifth on lap 14 and held off a challenge from the No. 00 for the next 13 laps, but he was passed on lap 27. He charged late in the opening stage’s closing laps, catching and clearing three cars by the green-white-checkered to finish third.
- No. 16 Crew Chief Bruce Schlicker called for a chassis and air pressure adjustment aimed at helping Smith’s lateral drive on corner-exit under the yellow flag pit cycle. The Quick Tie Products crew also changed tires and added fuel during the No. 16’s stop, and Smith restarted on lap 53 in sixth. He lost a position on the restart but passed two cars over the next 34 laps to move into fifth with five to go in stage two. A caution came out, ending the stage with Smith in fifth.
- After pitting for tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment under caution, Smith restarted in sixth on lap 96 but once again lost a spot, falling to seventh. Another caution came out on lap 103, and Smith took the ensuing green from the inside line in seventh. He fired off strongly and forced the No. 16 Chevy in the middle, three-wide to grab third with 91 to go. The night brought cooler temperatures, and Smith began dropping spots, ending up in seventh by the lap-138 yellow. The No. 16 was called back down pit road to make another right-rear adjustment and grab tires and fuel. He restarted seventh, this time in the outside line, with 58 laps remaining. He again sent the car three-wide and into third, but similarly to the last green-flag run, began falling down the order. He was relegated to eighth with 20 laps to go. A caution bunched the field back together on lap 182, and Smith came down pit road for the final time for tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. He restarted in eighth with 12 laps to go but couldn’t find a hole to move forward. The race’s final caution came out on lap 197, setting up an overtime finish. Restarting ninth, Smith moved up one spot to finish the season finale in eighth.
"Once the sun set, we couldn’t quite find the speed we had in the beginning of the race. We made some pretty aggressive adjustments, but with how the restarts played out and the shorter green flag runs, it was hard to take what we learned from our earlier long-run speed and adapt it. I’ve made a lot of memories this season with our No. 16 Quick Tie Products team, and I’m proud that we kept pushing through all the ups and downs, even if we weren’t competing for a championship in the end."
- Chandler Smith