Tuesday, Aug 09

Mid-Race Accident Relegates Chandler Smith to 18th-Place Finish

Mid-Race Accident Relegates Chandler Smith to 18th-Place Finish NK Photography Photo
Chandler Smith ran inside the top five for the opening 115 laps of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoff opener at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park before Zane Smith got loose underneath him attempting to make a pass for third place with two laps remaining in Stage Two and slammed the Safelite Tundra TRD Pro into the outside wall.
 
The No. 18 team would make repairs to Smith’s Toyota, but he wouldn’t be a factor the rest of the event and limped home to an 18th-place finish. After the opening race of the three-race Round of 10, Smith sits tied for fifth place on the playoff grid 24 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8.
 
 
Stage One Recap
 
·        Smith started Saturday’s event from the second position after posting a lap time of 22.249 seconds at 110.998 mph in Friday’s qualifying session.
·        Smith’s KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek earned the pole and chose the inside lane for the start of the race. After the green flag waved, Smith fell in line second to Nemechek. Across two cautions in the opening stanza Smith continued to run second and when the field cross the stripe at lap 60 to end Stage One remained there.
·        Before hitting pit road between stages, he reported the handling of his Safelite Tundra TRD Pro to his crew, “he has more turn, but on the long run I have more drive.”
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
·        A speedy stop by the over-the-wall crew allowed Smith to be the first truck to exit pit road after a four-tire and fuel stop. Smith chose the outside lane when Stage Two went green on lap 70.
·        Smith lost the lead to Carson Hocevar and was running second when a debris caution slowed the field on lap 73. The Georgia driver reported that his Safelite Tundra was “too tight.”
·        Hocevar elected the bottom lane and Smith lined up on the outside lane for the ensuing restart. When the field reached the halfway mark at lap 100, he had fallen back to the fourth spot.
·        The Toyota Racing Development driver found some speed on the long run and was able to advance to third when Nemechek spun to bring out the fifth caution of the event with 12 laps remaining in Stage Two.
·        After the top two trucks hit pit road, veteran crew chief Danny Stockman made the call to keep Smith on the race track trying to get the stage win and pickup another playoff point.
·        Smith chose the inside lane for the restart with six laps remaining in the stage with a four-truck buffer between all the other trucks that elected to pit. With three laps remaining in the stage, Smith had fallen to third, behind two trucks on fresh tires. As Zane Smith drove to the inside of the No. 18 Toyota to take the third position, he lost control of his truck and slid up into the Safelite Tundra causing significant damage, but it didn’t bring out a caution.
·        After getting his momentum back, Smith would finish Stage Two in the eighth position.
·        Before hitting pit road, he reported “this thing is messed up, got stuffed in the fence,” and communicated an extensive list of areas that were needing attention.
 
Final Stage Recap:
 
·        After two trips down pit road to repair the damage, Smith lined up in 28th when the field took the green flag for the Final Stage on lap 128.
·        When the seventh caution of the night occurred on lap 140, he had managed to make his way up to the 14th position. Stockman debated taking his final set of tires, but with Smith having managed to move forward elected to keep his track position and stay on track as the majority of the trucks in front of him did.
·        With 40 laps remaining Smith was scored in the 12th position but began to lose positions to trucks on fresher tires.
·        A two-truck accident slowed the field for the ninth time with eight laps remain. Stockman summoned his young driver to pit road for four fresh tires, a full load of fuel and a trackbar adjustment.
·        With the top 10 drivers remaining on track, the Safelite Tundra lined up 21st when the race went back green with two laps remaining. Smith was 19th when the top two truck made contact and brought out the 10th caution of the event.
·        Smith lined up at the top of the ninth row when the field went back green and would cross the stipe in the 18th position.
 
 
 
Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD for KBM
 
Talk about how your race went tonight.
“Stage One we were solid and finished second. Our truck was really good after 20 or 25 laps, and we were two tenths better than everybody. We didn’t have great fire-off speed, but when it got hot and slick and everybody didn’t have any drive, we had really good drive. Got behind on a pit call in Stage Two, but only gained one position and got swallowed up and got some damage. That put us behind for the rest of the race. Overall, we definitely had a top-five truck and honestly felt like we had a truck capable of winning the race. That makes it sting pretty good. On a positive note, it’s better than coming here and not having a good truck at all and leaving with the same result. Can’t be to upset with how our truck drove today. Everyone at KBM gave me the best Safelite Toyota Tundra TRD Pro they could and that is all I can ask for.”
 
 
TSport 200 Recap
 
  • Enfinger earned his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of 2022 and will advance to the Round of 8. It was his seventh career victory. Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, Stewart Friesen and Corey Heim rounded out the top-five finishers.
  • There were 10 cautions for 78 laps and 12 lead changes among six drivers, including Smith who led twice for 13 laps. 
 
 
How Chandler Smith's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
·        Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished fifth.
·        John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 10th
 
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
 
After the first race in the Round of 10, Smith is tied with Nemechek for fifth on the playoff grid. They are both 24 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8 with two races remaining in the Round of 10.
 
 
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