Chandler Smith – No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro Camping World Trucks Bristol Preview

Chandler Chatter:
 
  • Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team head to Bristol Motor Speedway, one of Smith’s best tracks, for the opening race in the Round of 8. In last year’s event, Smith muscled his way past reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Shelden Creed on a restart with five laps remaining and then held off his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate John Hunter Nemechek to collect his first career Truck Series victory in his 34th career start. As a 17-year-old, making just his third-career Truck Series start in 2019, Smith challenged for the win before finishing second to eventual series champion Brett Moffitt. In 2020, Smith went a lap down early in the race, but was able to recover and earn a fifth-place finish.
 
  • Smith punched his ticket to the Round of 8 with a win at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Smith dominated the middle race of the Round of 10, leading 176 of the final 177 laps, picked up the Stage 2 win and the victory and added six playoff points that have carried over to the Round of 8. The victory was Smith’s third of 2022 and the fifth of his career. Beginning with his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Bristol last September, he had produced five wins, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes across his last 24 starts.
 
  • The 20-year-old driver enters Thursday night’s contest second on the playoff grid, 15 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4. The No. 18 team will unload KBM-52 for Thursday night’s race at Bristol, which is the same truck that won last year’s race at Bristol with.
 
  • The Toyota Racing Development product has produced three wins in 2022:  the second race of the season at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, the regular season finale at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and the series last stop at Richmond. Across 19 Truck Series starts this season Smith has recorded eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He ranks first among Truck Series regulars in laps completed (2603), is second in average finish (8.7), average running position (8.722) and quality passes (603) and third in driver rating (103.0), laps led (334) and fastest laps run (182).
 
  • Smith made the playoffs last year in his first full-time campaign as the 10th seed. He advanced to the Round of 8 with a must-win victory at Bristol in the final race in the Round of 10. He found himself in another must-win situation in the final race in the Round of 8 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and saw his playoff run end when he finished fourth. As a consolation prize, he won the pole and swept all three stages in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway.
 
  • The Georgia driver earned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 after producing two victories, one pole, 213 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first full-time season. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September of 2021. Across 57 career Truck Series starts, the Toyota Racing Development driver had recorded five wins, one pole, 640 laps led, 22 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.8.
 
  • Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman will once again call the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team in 2022. Stockman’s drivers have produced eight victories at KBM since he joined the organization in 2020, including four with Smith behind the wheel. The veteran crew chief captured a Truck Series championship with Austin Dillon in 2011 and also won an Xfinity Series championship with Dillon in 2013. Stockman’s drivers have produced one win (Smith, 2021), two top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.5 across four Truck Series starts at Bristol. In Xfinity Series action, his drivers have complied seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes, with an average finish of 7.8 across 13 races.
 
  •  Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services, returned to KBM for a fifth season and will be the primary sponsor on Smith’s Tundra TRD Pro Tundra for 16 races this year, including Thursday night’s race at Bristol. Charge Me will serve as an associate sponsor on the bedtop of Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro this weekend. Charge Me was founded on the principle that the electric vehicle (EV) revolution will require robust infrastructure support at all levels.
 
 
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
 
As the defending race winner, how much confidence do you head to Bristol with?
“It definitely helps having a good notebook and knowing what works good there. Not only did I win last year, but in 2019 I nearly won. So, it’s a track I’m really comfortable with and looking forward to hopefully starting off the first race in the Round of 8 on a strong note.”
 
How important is it to start the Round of 8 off with a good result?
“It’s extremely important, especially with having Talladega as the middle race of the round. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to make it to Phoenix, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes.”
 
Do you feel like you must win one of the three races in the round to advance to the championship 4?
“I don’t know if we have to necessarily win, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt and there is no better place to do it then Bristol. If you can win Bristol and lock into Phoenix with the way the schedule lays out this year, that gives you a lot of extra time to prepare for the championship round.”
 
 
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
 
  • Across 57 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded five wins, 640 laps led, 22 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.8.
  • Earned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 and finished eighth in the championship standings after producing two victories, one pole, 213 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first full-time season. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September and in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway earned his first career pole and swept all three stages en route to his second victory.
  • Has posted an average finish of 29.5 across two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2022, with a best result of 22nd coming at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway.
  • Has collected 10 wins, 10 poles, 1894 laps led, 23 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.2 across 35 career ARCA Menards Series starts. 
 
 
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 Safelite Tundra:
 
KBM-52: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-52 for Thursday night’s race at Bristol. It is the same Toyota that Smith picked up his first career Truck Series victory with last September at Bristol. Smith also finished fifth at Bristol with this chassis in the 2020 Bristol race. This Tundra TRD Pro has raced twice this year, both dirt races, with a best result of 13th at Knoxville (Tenn.) Raceway.
 
KBM Notes of Interest:
 

KBM PR