- Chandler Smith begins his second full-time season behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opens the 2022 season at Daytona International Speedway Friday night. Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services, returns to KBM for a fifth season and will be the primary sponsor on Smith’s Tundra TRD Pro Tundra for 15 races this year.
- 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. Additionally, Smith has produced nine ARCA Menards Series victories, 10 poles, 22 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes across 34 career starts.
- The 19-year-old driver will be making just his second career start at Daytona. Smith led a race-high 22 laps and finished inside the top 10 in all three stages of last year’s race in his Daytona debut. He was battling for the lead in the closing laps when he got loose, slid down the track and barely clipped the apron. As he corrected his path, he shot up the track and made contact with Grant Enfinger on the outside lane. The contact caused an issue with a tire and moments later the No. 18 Toyota ended up spinning out. After repairs, the Georgia native was scored 19th when the field took the white flag during NASCAR overtime, but as another incident occurred as the field exited Turn 4 causing several trucks to wash up the race track, he drove to the inside to avoid them and ended his night with a ninth-place result. His best result across three superspeedway starts was a third-place finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2020.
- Since the Truck Series was last in action last November, Smith has had two newsworthy moments. In December, he executed a late-race bump-and-run- pass to bring home the victory in the Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., the most prestigious Super Late Model race in the country. Earlier this month, he and his wife, Kenzie, announced on social media that they are expecting their first child later this year.
- 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 totaled 10 career Truck Series victories to go along with seven in the Xfinity Series. Stockman’s drivers have collected two poles, 21 laps led and an average finish of 19.3 across three starts at Daytona in Truck Series action. He missed last year’s event serving the final race of a three-race suspension for a loose wheel that carried over from the end of the 2020 season. Paul Andrews, KBM’s shop foreman, was atop the pit box for Smith’s ninth-place finish at Daytona last year.
- Charge Me will serve as an associate sponsor on the bedtop of Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro for 15 races this season beginning Friday night at Daytona. Charge Me was founded on the principle that the electric vehicle (EV) revolution will require robust infrastructure support at all levels. To encourage this transition towards a clean energy future, Charge Me is launching a diverse product range of EV charging solutions. Charge Me has developed off-grid multi-use portable charging systems for both EV roadside assistance as well as stationary on-site power generation.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
Are you looking forward to your second career start at Daytona and how will you approach the race?
“Going back to Daytona this year, first and foremost I’m just thankful to be back with KBM and Safelite for another full-time season. Looking forward to going to Daytona and trying to bring home the win. It’s all about survival. It’s about making sure you are there at the very end. Putting yourself into a position where you can avoid really bad situations where you could get caught up in a wreck, but you’re in a good enough position to make it happen if you’re presented the opportunity. So, it’s all about position and opportunities”
What seemed to click at the end of last year and can you build off that momentum to start 2022 strong?
“The biggest thing that honestly started helping us was practice. Granted we only had it for one of my two wins, but we learned so much in practice. We started getting our sim pretty good and accurate for our data. With, all the notes we captured at the very end of the year, all of the momentum we were running off of is going to very beneficial to us to start this year. I feel like all of the goals that myself, Danny and all of this No. 18 team at Kyle Busch Motorsports have set that there should be nothing holding us back.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 38 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded two wins, 306 laps led, 14 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.9.
- Led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Gander Trucks 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-64: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-64 for Friday night’s Truck Series race at Daytona. It is the same Toyota that Smith has piloted in all three of his superspeedway races across his career. He finished ninth after leading a race-high 22 laps with it at Daytona last year and his best result was a third-place finish with it at Talladega in 2020.
KBM-64 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected one win, three poles, 102 laps led, four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 16.3 across 31 starts at Daytona. Owner-driver Kyle Busch picked up the team’s lone victory at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in dramatic fashion in the 2014 season opener, finishing .016 seconds ahead of fellow Toyota competitor Timothy Peters.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (90) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Bristol Motor Speedway last September, Chandler Smith became the 17th 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 23 career victories.