Chandler Smith snagged the lead from his KBM teammate Corey Heim 18 laps into Saturday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway and set cruise to win Stage One. He regained the lead early in Stage Two and was battling side-by-side Grant Enfinger to keep the lead when Enfinger got loose underneath him and washed up the track.
The contact sent Smith sliding but he was able to correct the path of the Safelite Tundra TRD Pro before making contact with the wall with the rear of his truck. The contact from Enfinger did however cause significant damage to the right rear quarter panel, bedtop and spoiler of the No. 18 Toyota.
Smith maintained his position on the lead lap but had to come to pit road where the over-the-wall crew made repairs to his Safelite Tundra TRD Pro, put on four fresh tires and sent him back on track to finish out Stage Two.
Despite the damage, Smith remained one of the fastest trucks in the field and battled his way back up the scoring pylon. He was running fourth with two laps remaining when a one-truck accident set up NASCAR overtime. The Safelite Tundra lined up on the inside of row two, behind Heim and the two KBM trucks worked together to push out in front of the top lane.
After pushing Heim forward, Smith made a move to the inside of his teammate attempting to pass him as the went down the frontstretch, but Heim turned left to block his momentum, nearly sending the Safelite Tundra into the inside wall. Having lost ground to Heim avoiding the wall, Smith tried to make it up into Turn 1, but ended up falling in line in the third position. A four-truck accident occurred just after the field took the white flag, ending the race per NASCAR overtime rules.
Smith’s third-place finish was his fourth consecutive top 10 and helped move him up two positions to second in the regular season standings. With five races remaining before the start of the playoffs, the Georgia driver finds himself 17 tallies behind reigning series champion Ben Rhodes.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started Saturday’s event from the third position after posting a lap of 32.663 seconds at 137.771 mph in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session.
- The Safelite Tundra would make its way to the front of the field and cross the stripe over two seconds ahead of the field to end Stage One. It was Smith’s first stage win of the season.
Stage Two Recap:
- During the stage break, Smith brought his Toyota to the attention of the over-the-wall crew who administered a four-tire and fuel stop. Enfinger’s No. 23 team elected to change just two tires and would win the race of pit road.
- Smith lined up on the outside of Enfinger when Stage Two went green on lap 43. But one lap later had made his way back out front.
- After the third caution of the event on lap 55, Smith elected to take the outside lane for the ensuing restart. Enfinger chose the inside lane and after battling side-by-side for multiple laps got loose underneath Smith and washed up the track.
- Smith hit road for damage repair and returned to the track scored in the 27th position with two laps remaining in Stage Two. He gained seven positions in the closing laps and finished 20th.
Final Stage Recap:
- Having already pitted, Smith remained on track and would line up of the top lane of the seventh row when the Final Stage went green on lap 78.
- Shortly into the Final Stage veteran crew chief Danny Stockman relayed to his driver that despite the damage he still had one of the fastest trucks.
- The Toyota Racing Development driver had made his way up to seventh when a two-truck accident on lap 93 slowed the field for the sixth time.
- Smith reported that his Safelite Tundra was “two numbers too tight” before hitting pit road. After a four-tire and fuel stop with a chassis adjustment. The damage to the rear end affected the fuel line and the fuel man was unable to get the truck full.
- The field went back green with just over 60 laps remaining with Smith lined up on the bottom of the eighth row, but five laps later was back inside the top 10. Stockman told Smith that they were 20 laps shy of making it to the end of the race due to the fueling issue.
- Smith was in the eighth position when a caution occurred on lap 107. He hit pit road for more fuel and a trackbar adjustment. He returned to the track and was lined up on the top of the 15th row when the field went back green with 47 laps remaining.
- He methodically made his way back through the field and was running fourth with two laps remaining when a caution set up NASCAR overtime.
- When the field went green, he gave Heim a push and then dove to his inside. Heim’s block stalled his run, and he would settle in line in third. After Heim took the white flag, another caution occurred ending the race with Smith in third.
Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra for KBM
How did you make it through the field?
“To be honest with you if the 23 (Grant Enfinger) didn’t run out of talent in stage two, we would have probably lapped half the field easy. Our truck was stupid, stupid fast. Hats off to Danny (Stockman), everybody at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports). They gave me a really fast Safelite/ChargeMe Toyota Tundra. It sucks really bad, because even there at the end our tires are beat, probably four times everybody else in the field and we still ended up third. Honestly, probably should have won the race, but got drove all the way to the fence once again. It is what it is, but glad to get a top-three out of it.”
Toyota 200 Race Recap:
- Corey Heim earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 11 cautions for 54 laps and 11 lead changes among nine drivers, including Heim who led twice for 20 laps.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished first.
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 35th.
Camping World Trucks Regular Season Driver Standings:
Smith gained two positions and currently ranks second in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks series regular season standings. After 11 events, he sits 17 tallies behind reigning Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes.
Smith will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Saturday, June 11th at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Live coverage of the DoorDash 250 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 7:30 p.m. ET.