NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile quad-oval)
Date/Broadcast: May 28, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Mr. Smith Turns Left and Right:
- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team make the short trek to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway this week for the N.C. Education Lottery 200. Friday night’s race will be Smith’s first career start in any series at the 1.5-mile quad-oval.
- While it will be Smith’s first start at Charlotte, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) has collected six wins in 11 races at the organization’s home track since its inaugural season in 2010. Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all six of those triumphs, most recently visiting victory lane in 2019. Smith has posted two top-five finishes on mile-and-a-half tracks in his young career, finishing fifth at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway in 2020. His best result this year in three starts on 1.5-mile tracks was an 11th-place finish at Kansas Speedway May 1.
- KBM has collected the victory at all three mile-and-a-half races in 2021, with John Hunter Nemechek winning at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and Kyle Busch bringing home the trophy at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. KBM drivers have combined to lead 76.2% (308/404) of the total laps in the three races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
- Smith comes into Saturday’s race 13th in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. He currently sits 35 points behind Johnny Sauter for the 10th and final spot in the playoffs with six races remaining in the regular season. Across nine starts this season, Smith has one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 18.9. He produced a season-best result of fourth at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. He sits second in Rookie of the Year standings, 45 points behind Carson Hocevar. Smith has earned the rookie of the race award four times this season.
- The Toyota Racing Development driver has nine top-five, and 11 top-10 finishes across 25 career Camping World Truck Series starts, including a career-best runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2019.
- The talented teenager recorded nine wins, 10 poles and an average finish of 5.3 across 33 ARCA Menards Series starts the last three seasons. He captured the pole in his series debut at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville (Tenn.) in April of 2018 and set an ARCA Menards Series record by winning four consecutive poles to start his career. He earned his first victory at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway in just his fourth series start in June of 2018. Despite running a part-time schedule, he led the series in laps led in both 2018 and 2019.
- Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman will call the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team this season. Stockman led the No. 51 team to four wins in his first season atop the pit box at KBM in 2020. He came to the organization with experience as a crew chief in all three national series, including a Truck Series championship with Austin Dillon in 2011 and an Xfinity Series championship with Dillon in 2013. Stockman’s Camping World Truck Series drivers have one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.7 across three starts at Charlotte. His best result was a runner-up finish with Kyle Busch in 2020. He was victorious with Dillon in the Xfinity Series race in October of 2015 and posted runner-up finishes with Dillon in October of 2013 and May of 2016.
- Saturday’s race will be the final race of the Triple Truck Challenge presented by Womply in the Camping World Truck Series. The bonus program kicked off at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and continued last week at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. An extra $50,000 is on the line for the winning driver Friday night.
- Safelite AutoGlass – the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services – will be the primary sponsor of Smith’s Tundra this weekend at Charlotte and for 15 races total this season. Smith General Contracting and Katerra will be associate partners on the bedtop of the No. 18 Toyota for Friday’s 134-lap event.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
How important is that 50-minute practice session Friday at Charlotte?
“It’s extremely important. When we went to COTA this past weekend, we had 50 minutes of practice. We didn’t get a lot of laps in, but every corner and every braking point at COTA that I didn’t practice ended up paying off in the race. It’s my first time going to Charlotte. It’s an unique mile-and-a-half. It’s going to be a real big game changer for myself.”
How much do you lean on Kyle and John Hunter for advice going into another 1.5-mile track?
“Oh yeah, all the time. I was looking through the notes that Kyle took last year when he raced the 51 truck at Charlotte. I definitely pick both of their brains a little bit before we get there and just digest everything they say and keep it in the back of my head, especially when running thorough practice. I know we are going to be practicing in the middle of the day. It’s going to be really hot. We are going to be racing at night. Typically, it will free up at night. I will try to keep all those things in the back of my head for our Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra and make sure we’re all set for the race.”
Last week, you joined a Safelite leadership call. How cool is it to represent Safelite on and off the track?
“To represent Safelite on and off the track and being a part of a big meeting like that was incredible. I’ve never been part of any meeting that’s been to that extreme. It was really cool for me to be able to sit there through the whole meeting and see how Safelite runs its company and what it talks about on a monthly basis with its leaders across the country. It’s really neat to be a part of it. I’m really grateful for our partnership.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 25 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded 139 laps led, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 15.2.
- Posted an average finish of 7.7 across his final seven of 12 total Truck Series starts in 2020, including third-place finishes in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway and his first career superspeedway start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October.
- Produced three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.2 across his first four career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in 2019. He led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Gander Trucks debut at Iowa Speedway last July and then posted top-five finishes in his final three starts, including a runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
- Has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1761 laps led, 22 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.2 across 33 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.
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
KBM-070: The No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team will unload chassis number KBM-070 for Friday’s 134-lap event at Charlotte. The Tundra has just one start on it, a 19th-place finish with Smith earlier this year at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- Across 30 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, KBM drivers have earned six wins, three poles, 13 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 9.2 and an average finish of 9.0.
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all six of his organization’s wins (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018).
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (85) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Martin Truex Jr. became the 16th 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 21 career victories.