Rookie standout Chandler Smith (No.20 Craftsman Toyota) will make his fourth start of the season Sunday afternoon behind the wheel of Venturini Motorsports’ (VMS) series’ leading Toyota entry when the ARCA Menards Series returns home for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway.
Already with three consecutive finishes inside the top four spots and two pole positions this season, Smith, 17, is one of three team drivers who’ve helped catapult VMS’ No.20 Toyota Camry team early on to the top of the ARCA Menards Series Owner Championship Points standings.
Standing atop of the series’ leader board a quarter (5 of 20 events) of the way through the 2019 racing season, VMS’s No.20 Toyota entry holds a 75-point advantage over second place Joe Gibbs Racing (No.18 Toyota). Travis Braden is the series’ driver points leader and VMS’s Michael Self (No.25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) occupies the second spot.
Smith, who’s unable to compete in the full series schedule due to the series’ minimum age requirements, has shared the twenty-ride this year with drivers Harrison Burton and Brandon Lynn.
Collectively the trio has strung together five consecutive top-5 finishes, including one victory and three General Tire pole awards. Burton started things off with a victory in the season opening event at Daytona International Speedway while Lynn took the wheel last month at Talladega Superspeedway and finished third after starting from the pole.
“I’m really excited to go back to Toledo this weekend with our Craftsman Camry,” says Smith who finished fourth after starting on the pole in in last year’s attempt on the Ohio short track.
“This team is really strong. It’s great feeling showing up to the track each week knowing what we have. Billy Venturini and all the guys back at the shop work their butts off day in and day out. As far as this weekend goes we had a pretty good test last Monday. I think we’re better than we were last year. I have no doubt we’ll have a good piece this week. I think our chances are high but we’ll just have to see how things go. There are a lot of strong cars and talented drivers to race against.”
Already a two-time Series winner, Smith has notched six General Tire Pole Awards, nine top-5’s and 12 top-10 finishes in just 12 career ARCA starts.
Practice for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET on Saturday, May 18, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4 pm ET. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will go green shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, May 19. The race will be televised live on MAVTV.