Date: March 5, 2021
Event: Bucked Up 200 (Race 3 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Las Vegas (Nev.) Speedway (1.5-mile, tri-oval)
Format: Three Stages; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 7th/19th (Running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: John Hunter Nemecheck of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
After getting spun early in the Final Stage of Friday night’s Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and sustaining major damage to the rear of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra, Chandler Smith was able to muster a 19th-place finish. Under each and every caution the rest of the event, the over-the-wall crew used everything but the kitchen sink to make repairs to their Toyota and helped muster a 19th-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the seventh position after a performance matrix, based off the No. 18 team’s ranking in the owner points standings, as well as his finishing position and the fastest lap he turned during the Camping World Truck Series’ previous race at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course.
- Over the course of the opening stanza, the Georgia native reported that his Toyota had too much rear steer. He would finish Stage One in the ninth position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop between stages. Smith would line up on the inside of the eighth row for the restart on Lap 36.
- As Stage Two went green from start-to-finish, the Safelite Tundra was too tight for Smith’s liking and would finish the stanza 11th.
Final Stage Recap:
- Stockman ordered up another four-tire and fuel stop with adjustments, and Smith exited the pits 10th, but due to an uncontrolled tire, he would have to restart and the back of the field.
- While trying to make his way back towards the front of the field, the Safelite driver was running just outside the top 20 when another truck got him aero loose and caused him to spin. The No. 18 Toyota made hard contact with the outside wall before bringing out the fifth caution of the event.
- While making repairs, the team would go one lap down, but when the race went green were able to meet minimum speed.
- On the sixth caution of the event, Smith was awarded the free pass and returned to the lead lap. During every caution for the remainder of the race, the over-the-wall crew used baseball bats, electric saws, and bear bond to try and return their Toyota closer to normal in effort to improve the speed and handling for their young driver. Subsequently, each time he would have to restart at the rear of the field.
- When the field lined up for the final restart with six laps remaining, the Safelite Tundra was on the outside of row 11. Smith was able to gain three spots over the final circuits to end an eventful night in the 19th position. Despite finishing just inside the top 20, he was the top finishing rookie.
Bucked Up 200 Recap:
- Smith’s KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek dominated the race, leading a race-high 94 laps en route to his first victory of 2021. It was Nemechek’s seventh career Camping World Truck Series win and his first for KBM. KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch finished 0.69 seconds behind Nemechek in the runner-up position to make it a one-two finish for the organization. Austin Hill, Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton made it a clean sweep of the fop five for Toyota Racing.
- There were nine lead changes among five different drivers. KBM drivers combined to lead 110 of the 134 laps. There were nine cautions for 48 laps.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished first.
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished second.
Camping World Trucks Driver Championship Standings:
Despite the tough night, Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team fell just one spot in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. Smith leaves the third race on the Camping World Truck Series schedule in the fifth position, 60 tallies behind his KBM teammate Nemecheck, who took over the points lead with the win.
Smith will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action on Saturday March 20 at the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the Fr8Auctions 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 2:30 p.m. ET.