- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team head to Darlington Raceway for Friday’s Dead on Tools 200. As part of Darlington’s throwback weekend, Smith will have fresh colors on his Tundra under the lights Friday night. Smith’s normal paint scheme on his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) entry is based off Safelite’s MobileGlassShop vehicles that have been predominately black with silver and red stripes since 2013. This week the No. 18 will throw it back to before 2013 when Safelite’s MobileGlassShop vehicles were predominately white with red and black stripes on the side. Safelite – the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services – has been a partner of KBM since the 2017 season and will be the primary sponsor on Smith’s Toyota for 16 races this season.
- Smith has had a strong start to 2022, finishing inside the top 10 in four of six events including his victory earlier in the year at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old driver sits second in the regular season point standings, 38 tallies behind reigning series champion Ben Rhodes. Through the first six events of the season Smith leads Truck Series regulars in average starting position (4.7), ranks second in average finish (9.3) and third in driver rating (107.5) and average running position (7.654).
- Friday night will be Smith’s fourth start at “The Lady in Black”. While he’s had strong runs each time racing at Darlington, he hasn’t had the results to show for it. Smith’s best result came last September when he finished seventh.
- The Georgia driver 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.
- 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’s drivers have produced one top-five and two top-10 finishes across five Truck Series starts at Darlington resulting in an average finish of 15.4. His best result was fifth with Dillon in 2010.
- The Camping World Truck Series will be racing for the 650th time this week at Darlington. Chris Showalter, the truck chief on Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro, has remarkably been a crew member for all 650 races dating back to the series’ inaugural event held on February 5, 1995 at Phoenix Raceway. The Ohio native has been a part of 16 wins across his 188 races since becoming a truck chief at KBM in 2014. His most notable accomplishment was being the crew chief for Travis Kvapil’s Truck Series championship in 2003 for Xpress Motorsports.
- Charge Me will be as an associate sponsor on the bedtop of Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro for 16 races this season, including this weekend at Darlington. 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:
Will getting to race in the Xfinity Series the last two weeks while the Truck Series was off benefit you?
“Getting seat time in any race vehicle always helps no matter what, so it was good to get behind the wheel of Sam Hunt’s Xfinity car for two weeks while the Truck Series was off. I have to thank ChargeMe and QuickTie for being apart of my Xfinity Series debut, I couldn’t have had the opportunity without their support.”
You’ve shown a lot of speed in your previous starts at Darlington. Is there something about that track that fits your driving style?
“Darlington is a lot of fun to race at. It’s a wore out track that you have to take care of your tires and having that characteristic definitely matches my background coming up Super Late Model racing. We’ve been really fast the first three times I’ve gone there but didn’t get the finishes we deserved. Looking forward to trying to get the Safelite Tundra TRD Pro in victory lane Friday night.”
You’ve been a big proponent of getting practices back, will having practice this time around at Darlington?
“It was definitely hard the last few years as a young driver going to tracks and just lining up and racing. Even though practice time is limited most places this year, it gives me the opportunity as a driver to get a feel for the truck and work with Danny (Stockman, crew chief) to get the balance of the Safelite Tundra TRD Pro more to my liking for the start of the race. The past couple years you would have to wait until the first pit stop to make an adjustment and if you did anything substantial it would cost you spots on pit road and put you behind.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 44 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded three wins, 362 laps led, 17 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.2.
- 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.
- Has posted an average finish of 29.5 across two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2022, with a best result of 22nd coming at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway.
- 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.
- 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-70: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-70 for Friday night’s race at Darlington. This Tundra has won the last two races it entered as Smith collected his first victory of 2022 at Las Vegas in March in its lone appearance this season and won with it in the 2021 season final at Phoenix Raceway. KBM-70 was also the chassis Smith was behind the wheel of when he posted a seventh-place finish at Darlington last September.
KBM-70 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected one win, 95 laps led, three top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.0 across 11 starts at Darlington. Kasey Kahne led a race-high 95 laps en route to victory in the 2011 event.
- 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 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.