Chandler Smith Records Fourth Consecutive Top-Five Finish
Chandler Smith rallied back to finish fifth and earn his fourth consecutive top-five finish in Saturday's Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas Speedway. Smith started from the pole, finished Stage One in second and Stage Two third before a miscue on pit road slowed the momentum of the No. 51 JBL team.
The over-the-wall crew did not secure all the lug nuts on a four-tire stop before the Final Stage and crew chief Danny Stockman alertly called his young driver back to pit road to secure the loose lug nuts. Smith would restart the Final Stage from the inside of row nine but rallied back to the fourth position before making his final scheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions with just under 30 laps remaining.
Another slow stop left him ninth when stops cycled through with 20 laps remaining. Smith was scored in the seventh position when the top two-trucks tangled, and Zane Smith spun bringing out the final caution of the race.
The JBL Tundra lined up on the bottom of the third row for NACAR overtime and after a strong restart moved up to third but battled a loose-handling Toyota in the closing laps and would cross the stripe fifth.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the pole after a performance matrix based off his finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the ranking of the fastest lap he turned from the previous race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
- Making his first Gander Trucks start at Kansas, the young driver quickly got caught three-wide in the middle on the start and fell back to the fourth position on Lap 1.
- With a fast JBL Tundra, he quickly rallied back and took over the runner-up position on Lap 3 and remainder there as the opening stage went wire-to-wire caution free.
Stage Two Recap:
- Smith hit pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop between stages and after a slow stop lined up on the top of the fourth row when Stage Two went green on Lap 37.
- After a quick caution, the talented teenager lined up on the bottom of the fourth row for a restart on Lap 45. With 10 laps remaining in the segment he was sixth but gained three positions in the closing laps and finished Stage Two third.
Final Stage Recap:
- He reported that the JBL Tundra was "a little snug" before hitting pit road for four fresh tires and fuel between stages. Smith would have to restart near the tail of the field after having to come back down pit road to tighten the lug nuts before the field went back green on Lap 67.
- Posting times faster than the lead truck, Smith began slicing his way back through the field. He made his way back inside the top 10 on Lap 73 and 20 laps later had rallied to the fourth position.
- With just over 30 laps remaining the top-five trucks began making their way to pit road for their final scheduled stops. Stockman summoned his young driver to the attention of the over-the-wall crew on Lap 105.
- After a slow four-tire and fuel stop, the Georgia native was scored in the seventh position when stops cycled through with 15 laps remaining.
- He remained seventh with the fourth and final caution with three laps remaining set up NASCAR overtime.
- Smith restarted on the bottom of the third row and after a strong restart momentarily made his way up to third but battled a loose-handling Tundra over the final two laps and would cross the stripe in the fifth position.
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