NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 15, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to Know
- It’s Bristol, baby. The No. 51 team heads to the mountains of Tennessee for the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at Bristol Motor Speedway. This weekend, 17-year-old Chandler Smith will return to the iBUYPOWER Tundra to make his first start at the legendary half-mile. Although Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) doesn’t have any drivers involved in the NASCAR Gander Truck Series playoff, it will be represented in owner’s portion of the playoffs by the No. 51 team, who will looking to bring home the organization’s seventh title. After 16 races in 2019, the No. 51 team enters the playoffs ranked fourth the owner’s points standings with 2015 markers, five points behind the leader. The team has earned five wins with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel and one win with veteran driver Greg Biffle at Texas Motor Speedway. The team has two poles, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
- Smith’s last start for KBM was at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis in the No. 46 Tundra. The talented teenager started 25th and finished fourth. He made his Gander Trucks debut earlier this with the No. 51 team, where he led 55 laps and overcame radio issues and a pit road speeding penalty to earn an eighth-place finish. The talented teenager will make his fourth and final Gander Trucks start at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., for the No. 46 team and is also scheduled to represent the KBM Super Late Model in three more marquee events this season; the Winchester 400 Oct. 13 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, the All-American 400 Nov. 3 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., and the Snowball Derby Dec. 2 at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
- Despite competing in only nine of the 15 races this season due to age restrictions; the Toyota Racing Development prodigy leads the ARCA Menards Series with four wins and 659 laps led and is tied for the most poles (four). Overall across his nine races this season, the Georgia native has recorded seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 3.0 and average finish of 4.3. Smith also competed in nine ARCA Series events in 2018, where he compiled four poles, two wins, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.3
- Veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle leads the No. 51 team this season. Fugle has guided his team to four Owner’s Championships (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017) as a crew chief at KBM, including combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championships with Erik Jones in 2015 and Christopher Bell in 2017. The New York native’s drivers have combined for 28 wins, 22 poles, 65 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes across his 129 races calling the shots for the organization. At Bristol, Fugle’s drivers have one win, Kyle Busch in 2013, two top-five and five top-10 finishes across five starts at the half-mile oval.
- iBUYPOWER will adorn the hood of Smith’s Tundra for his final two Gander Trucks events this season. Since 1999, iBUYPOWER has been delivering on its promise to build the best gaming systems for the most discerning gamers. Even in a time when PCs were not as ubiquitous as they are today, we fueled the passion for gaming by giving our customers the highest quality in custom built computers. Our systems have since become the backbone for professional gamers, game developers, LAN centers, major Esports tournaments, and everyday consumers. iBUYPOWER has worked intimately with brands such as Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, Microsoft, WD, ASUS, Bethesda, MLG, and many more. Superior performance, reliability, cutting edge technology, and timely production make iBUYPOWER the authority in PC gaming.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A
What is your experience at Bristol and how can it help you?
“I’ve been there one time with the Inaugural Short Track Nationals in the Super Late Model and we had some good success there. We won the heat race and the main race we ended up finishing third. I was only 14 at the time, so it was a pretty cool deal for me. We tested there earlier this spring with these KBM guys and we had a really fast Tundra up there. I’m excited to get back there with my No. 51 iBUYPOWER Toyota Tundra.”
How does your experience at short tracks help prepare you for this weekend?
“I think with the momentum that we’ve been rolling with — and just in general with our preseason stuff and my season has been good and we’ve had really good success this year at the short tracks — I think it’s going to carry on and hopefully we end up bringing home the merchandise in Bristol.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights
- Led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Gander Trucks Series debut June 16 at Iowa Speedway, and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in his second series start at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on June 22.
- Has collected six wins, eight poles, 1422 laps led, 13 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes across just 18 career ARCA Racing starts. In 2019, he has collected four wins, four poles and 659 laps led, with an average starting position of 3.2 and an average finish of 4.3.
- 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.
- Smith has also competed in some of the biggest Super Late Model events the last few seasons. He earned his first marquee win in January of 2018 in the CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga., edging out short-track legend Bubba Pollard.
- He also won the pole, led 97 laps and finished second in the 2018 Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and finished third in the 2017 running of the event. The talented teenager has also posted an average finish of 6.0 across three starts in the prestigious Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola. Fla.
Chandler Smith’s No. 51 iBUYPOWER Tundra:
KBM-024: The No. 51 iBUYPOWER team will unload chassis KBM-024 for Thursday’s UNOH 200. This chassis has started 15 races for the organization and has three wins, at ISM Raceway in Phoenix with Erik Jones behind the wheel in 2014 and twice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; in 2016 with William Byron and 2017 with Christopher Bell.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected three wins, four poles, 534 laps led, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.1 across 21 starts at Bristol
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all three of his organization’s victories at the half-mile oval, winning the Gander Trucks race as a part of his historic Bristol Sweeps in 2010 and 2017 and he also won the 2013 event.
- KBM holds the Gander Truck Series records for most career wins (74) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 51 is the winningest number in the KBM stable with 30 trips to victory lane in Gander Trucks action