Chandler Smith came just one spot short of winning at his home track this evening in NASCAR Xfinity Series action at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Talking Rock, Georgia-native backed up his fifth place run at Daytona with a runner-up finish in a green-white-checkered ending. His teammate, Sheldon Creed, also delivered back-to-back top-five runs to start the season with a fourth-place finish. Joe Gibbs Racing added a third Supra inside the top-10 with Ryan Truex finishing in ninth.

Sam Hunt Racing (SHR) and Jeffrey Earnhardt also had a strong run with an eighth-place finish. For SHR, it is their best finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, while for Earnhardt, it was his best run since a seventh-place finish for SHR at Nashville Superspeedway in June 2022.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Race 2 of 33 – 251.02 miles, 163 laps

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS

1st, Austin Hill*

2nd, CHANDLER SMITH

3rd, Shane van Gisbergen*

4th, SHELDON CREED

5th, Parker Retzlaff*

8th, JEFFREY EARNHARDT

9th, RYAN TRUEX

32nd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK

*non-Toyota driver

TOYOTA QUOTES

CHANDLER SMITH, No. 81 QuickTie Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 2nd

What’s your big takeaway from today’s race and seeing the pit strategy pay off at the end, even if it may have been frustrating at the time?

“I wasn’t really frustrated in the moment there. I did second guess it for a minute there as I thought I had saved a lot of fuel and didn’t think a lot of guys were going to take the gamble and come down. But I don’t know if we just ran more caution laps than what everyone was anticipating at first. My crew chief, Jeff Meendering, did an amazing job making the last-minute pit call there. Looks like we dragged everyone else down pit road with us when we went. So, no, I’m really happy with how our results were coming out of here with the No. 81 QuickTie Products Toyota GR Supra, which was as fast as Xfinity 10G internet today. So, looking forward to going to Las Vegas with two top-fives on superspeedways.”

What’s it mean for you to get a good result here in Atlanta and two Georgia drivers finishing 1-2?

“Yeah, that’s pretty cool. I didn’t even think about that – Georgia guys one, two. Yeah, I’m excited with two top-fives to start the season on superspeedways brings huge momentum for this QuickTie GR Supra team. Looking forward to going to Las Vegas and seeing what we can do there.”

SHELDON CREED, No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 4th

Talk us through your race today and what you were experiencing out there.

“The racing was really bad, to be honest. We were all funneling to the top and you can’t make a move by yourself, just no horsepower. We’re going to Michigan and Indianapolis with these packages, so hope we reconsider and don’t go like that. A great way to salvage our day on some misfortune of others. I don’t know (pause), we got a fourth there. That’s pretty good from where we were running coming to the last caution and the green-white checkered.”

JEFFREY EARNHARDT, No. 26 ForeverLawn Toyota GR Supra, Sam Hunt Racing

Finishing Position: 8th

Ran in the lead pack all night and ended up with a strong top-10 finish. How was your race?

“First off, just glad to be back in a Toyota. It’s impressive what this team has accomplished over the years. I ran with these guys two years ago, and heck, I was impressed – saying they were a top-10 team then, and you see what they did at Daytona. Then we come here and back it up – that’s really impressive. Hats off to these guys for the hard work they put in. Sam (Hunt) for the team he has built. It takes a good leader to build a team this great and he’s definitely just that. Can’t thank these guys enough. I’ve got to thank ForeverLawn. They’ve had my back for a long time. It’s pretty awesome to keep them. The people they are, the people surrounding me – you can’t say enough about it. You wish you could get every sponsor to be like them. Can’t thank them enough. We’ve got so many great partners that have been with us for a long time – just happy to get them a good run tonight.”

RYAN TRUEX, No. 19 Toyota Outfitters Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 9th

Strong run all night, and still ended up in the top-10 despite running out of fuel. Can you talk us through your race?

“We did everything right. Coming to two to go, a caution came out and it killed us. I was running second about to come to the white, right where I wanted to be with enough fuel and we rode around under caution. I lined up to the 2 (Jesse Love) to push him, and as soon as I got to him, he ran out of fuel and killed our lane. I got freight trained. Sheldon (Creed) got to my bumper coming to the checkered – we were actually rolling the top pretty well, and then I ran out of gas coming into (turn) three. It wouldn’t have mattered either way. We did everything we could – we ran inside the top-five the entire race and nothing to show for it is kind of a bummer.”

Toyota Racing PR

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