Chandler Smith claimed his third win of the 2022 season in Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Richmond Raceway. With the win, Smith punched his ticket into the second round of the NASCAR Playoffs. Smith’s dominant performance leading 176 laps (of 250) en route to the win, showcasing the strength of Kyle Busch Motorsports heading into the next round of the Playoffs. Fellow Toyota Tundra drivers John Hunter Nemechek (second), Ty Majeski (third) and Corey Heim (fifth) also scored top-five finishes.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race 18 of 23 – 250 Laps, 187.5 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, CHANDLER SMITH
2nd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
3rd, TY MAJESKI
4th, Grant Enfinger*
5th, COREY HEIM
7th, MATT CRAFTON
8th, CHRISTIAN ECKES
11th, STEWART FRIESEN
13th, TYLER ANKRUM
14th, CHASE PURDY
18th, BEN RHODES
19th, LAYNE RIGGS
21st, KADEN HONEYCUTT
31st, TIMMY HILL
33rd, MASON MAGGIO
CHANDLER SMITH, No. 18 ChargeMe Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
After becoming a first-time Dad earlier this week, how special is this race win?
“God is so good. I’m a Daddy now. My wife had such an amazing labor and delivery. We have an amazing and beautiful baby boy at home. Honey, this is for you and Jr. this is for you as well. I can’t wait to get home to you two tonight. The blessings just keep stacking up. I have an incredible group behind me at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and an incredible group of partners with ChargeMe, Safelite and everybody. I’m taking this in. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but I’m going to keep taking it in and giving all glory to the Lord.”
Does this race win serve notice that the championship will go through this team?
“I’ll leave that to you guys. Just like I said at media day, if the Good Lord wants it to be our championship, then it will and if it’s not, it’s not. I like how everything is going right now for sure.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Safeway Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 2nd
What did you need to make a run at Chandler Smith for the win tonight?
“We didn’t adjust quite like we needed to from day to night. Partly on me so I’ll take that one. Overall, solid day for our Safeway Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Thank you to all of our great partners that are on this Tundra TRD and everyone that helps out and keeps us going here. Just big picture racing I would say. Really good points day. Second, second and second for all three stages. Can’t complain about that, just one spot short. It’s good to be disappointed when you have a run like that with second, second and second. Really good points day, let’s go advance to the next round. Only thing that matters is getting to the final four in Phoenix to compete for a championship.”
What are you going to do in the two weeks before the Kansas race?
“Going to run two races for Sam Hunt Racing in the Toyota GR Supra. Excited to go stay in the seat and keep everything that I can sharp and go have some fun racing.”
TY MAJESKI, No. 66 TSPORT Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How was your truck overall tonight?
“I thought we had a really good truck in qualifying and practice, but it didn’t quite correlate to the race. Just have to get better at being a little bit more picky with the balance and learning the transition with these race trucks from day to night. All in all, really good run for us today. We had a good points day and we’re right there.”
How difficult was it to recover after the incident with your jackman?
“I saw him trip and I slammed on the brakes so I didn’t hit him. He did a great job and it was actually his first time tonight and he recovered well and really salvaged that pit stop. He rebounded and had some really great stops. That’s what teamwork is all about, we win and lose as a team. I tried to encourage him over the radio and told him it was a good recovery. They gave me two great pit stops on those last two.”
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How do you continue with this momentum into the next round of the Playoffs?
“Just keep doing what we’re doing. The team did a great job. We were really good on the long run. When we fired off, we were on the splitter. It took about 10 laps for it to get going and once it did, it was really good. We bumped up the tires there at the end and it made it quite a bit better to where it fired off on that restart. These guys worked their butts off and as fast as we’ve been this year at so many different places, to come here and be capable of running top-five speed wise. Very, very happy with that and we know we can run in the top-five and contend.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 98 CMR Roofing Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
What do you have to do to make it into the next round of the Playoffs at this point?
“We just have to undo what we’ve done the last two races. We just haven’t executed and we haven’t brought fast trucks and it’s frustrating for sure. Really proud of everybody at ThorSport Racing for fighting hard tonight. We really fought hard, but we really don’t have much to show for it. We don’t have much to lose at Kansas now. I know it’s only six points, but I feel like it’s going to take running up front and a win to make it happen. Huge thank you to CMR Roofing, ThorSport Racing and everyone involved. We’ll go get them at Kansas.”
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Tenda Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
With a challenging night, you didn’t lose a lot of ground in the points to move onto the next round, but what do you need to contend for a second championship?
“I guess we can run just as bad in Kansas and make it into the next round. We had a terrible night tonight, but to go win a second championship, that’s not what we needed to do. We have to right the ship and get better. Honestly, I’m a little confused on the issues we fought all night. I had some brake issues in practice. We were trying something new and I didn’t like it from the start, from the first laps on the track. But something else was going on tonight, stuff that I’ve never really felt in a race car before. We’ll have to go back and diagnose it and make sure it never happens again. Overall, just have to say thank you to my team. They work their butts off. Not the night we wanted, but we can run this bad again. We need to get wins and run better to contend for this championship.”