- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team head to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas looking to build on the momentum of two strong runs. Smith executed a last-lap pass on Zane Smith to bring home his first victory of 2022 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway two races ago and then last week at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway was out front on the final lap when he got passed by KBM teammate Corey Heim and fell back to fourth by the time the field crossed the stripe.
- In addition to being the primary sponsor on Smith’s normal No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro, Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services, will adorn KBM’s No. 51 with owner-driver Kyle Busch this week at COTA. Busch’s flat white truck is a reciprocal of Smith’s flat black version. The two drivers have engaged in a challenge on social media, pledging that the lower finisher in Saturday’s event will clean all the windshields at KBM next week.
- Smith was running ninth with two laps remaining in last year’s inaugural visit to COTA for the Truck Series, but wheel hopped into a run-off area. Despite Smith being in the hazard, the field would remain green until the finish and relegate him to a 33rd-place finish. His best finish across three road course races in the Truck Series was a 12th-place result last year at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course.
- After three events, Smith sits atop of the Camping World Truck Series regular season point standings, 13 tallies ahead of Tanner Gray. The 19-year-old driver also leads the Truck Series in driver rating (111.9), average starting position (2.3) and fastest laps (22), while his 77 laps led rank him second to KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek (84).
- Earlier this year, Smith and his wife, Kenzie, announced on social media that they are expecting their first child in August.
- Smith 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. Across 38 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, the Toyota Racing Development product has collected two wins, 14 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
- 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 six victories at KBM across his first two seasons, including two with Smith behind the wheel in 2021. 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 has one win as a crew chief on a NASCAR road course, it came in 2015 with Paul Menard in the Xfinity Series race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc.
- Charge Me will serve as an associate sponsor on the bedtop of Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro for 16 races this season, including this weekend at COTA. 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:
How do you prepare for one of the newest tracks on the schedule?
“I actually was at COTA not too long ago in a Trans Am car, kind of testing and getting some laps overall. I’ve only been to COTA, this will be my fourth time overall, I’ve been in a TA2 car, I’ve been there in a truck, and I’ve also went and done some driving experience just to get overall laps there. I honestly love the track. Before it rained at the Truck Series race, we were really good, but it took a little while for me to catch up in the rain. Hopefully, it stays dry, and we should have a good showing in our Safelite Tundra.”
Does leading the points after three races give you confidence looking forward?
“Yeah, for sure, every little bit helps. Having a cushion, having a buffer, always helps for a rainy day, so I’m glad overall that we had a solid points day at Atlanta.”
You were able to beat Kyle at Las Vegas. Are you looking forward to racing against him again this weekend?
“I’m just looking forward to beating him and sitting there and bossing him around while he cleans windshields at KBM”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 41 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded three wins, 359 laps led, 16 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.5.
- Led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Camping World Truck Series debut at Iowa Speedway in July of 2019. Drove a limited schedule for KBM in 2019 (four races) and 2020 (12 races), before going full-time in 2021.
- Has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1783 laps led, 22 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.4 across 34 career ARCA Menards Series starts. Set an ARCA Racing Series record by winning four consecutive poles to start his career and earned his first victory after leading a race-high 102 laps at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway in his fourth series start.
- Has numerous Super Late Model victories across his career, including two marquee wins: the Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. (2021) and SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia (2018). Will compete in several Super Late Model events around his Truck Series schedule in 2022.
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-72: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-72 for Saturday’s race at COTA. In its lone start last year at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Smith crossed the finish line in the 18th position but was credited with a 40th-place finish after his Tundra failed the height requirement in post-race inspection.
KBM-72 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers produced an average finish of 21.0 in last year’s Truck Series event at Circuit of the Americas with John Hunter Nemechek scoring a team-best 12th-place finish.
- Erik Jones’ victory in 2015 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont. is KBM’s lone win on a road course.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (92) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Corey Heim became the 18th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 18, the number which was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 24 career victories.