NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Overview:
Event: South Carolina Education Lottery 200, Race 15 of 23, 147 laps – 45/45/57; 200.1 miles
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in South Carolina (1.366-mile egg-shaped oval)
Date/Broadcast: Sept. 6, 2020, at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need To Know:
- Chandler Smith will make his fifth NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start of 2020 driving the No. 51 JBL/Smith General Contracting Tundra Sunday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Smith has had a tough start to his Gander Truck season, where across his four starts he has recorded average finish of 25.8. and had a best result of 20th at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
- Smith, who turned 18 on June 26, is the latest highly touted prospect out of the Toyota Racing Development Program. The Georgia native produced three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.2 across his first four career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors 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.
- In addition to his limited Truck Series schedule this season, Smith is also competing in his third season of part-time action in the ARCA Menards Series. He has made eight starts in that series this season, winning twice: at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway in March and at Lucas Oil Raceway in Claremont, Ind. and finishing in the runner-up spot three times. Despite only starting eight of the 13 events, the racing prodigy sits ninth in the points standings, is tied for the series lead with two poles and ranks second in laps led (297). Across 28 career ARCA Menards Series starts, Smith has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1726 laps led, 20 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 4.2.
- The No. 51 team ranks eighth in the owner’s point standings after 14 races, trailing the No. 16 team by 138 tallies. With two races remaining in the regular season, they have a 34-point cushion over the cutoff line for making the owner’s playoffs. So far this season the team has four wins, seven stage wins, one pole, five top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.3. Kyle Busch captured victories at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, while Brandon Jones was victorious at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
- Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman leads the No. 51 team in 2020. Stockman called the shots for Austin Dillon’s championship efforts in both the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (2011) and the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2013) and has experience as a crew chief in all three national series. In Dillon’s Gander Trucks championship season, the pair totaled two wins, five poles, 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. The majority of Stockman’s experience atop the pit box has come in the Xfinity Series, where his drivers have recorded seven wins, 19 poles, 80 top-five and 148 top-10 finishes across 209 starts from 2012 to 2018. Stockman’s drivers have an average finish of 10.0 across two starts at Darlington with Austin Dillon delivering his best result; a fifth-place finish in the 2010 event
- On March 12, 2011, Kasey Kahne was victorious for KBM the last time the Gander Trucks took on the “Lady in Black”. Kahne, driving the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, started from the second position and led a race-high 95 laps en route to his third career victory in NASCAR’s third division.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
Often at Darlington, crew chiefs tell a driver to race the track and not the other trucks. How hard is that to do as a driver?
“Being that Darlington is one of those racetracks that you have to take into custom that you need to race the track more than your competitors really suits my driving style. My crew chief Danny Stockman has experience on the Cup side of things. The Cup cars are similar to the trucks right now. I’m really confident. I’m really excited to get there with my JBL Toyota Tundra team. This really suits my driving style. I’m really excited about it. Rough racetracks are my thing.”
Being a tough surface known to wear out tires, do you think having experience in tire conservation from your Super Late model days will help you on Sunday?
“I definitely think I have an advantage. I say that, but probably not. It’s just my way of thinking. I would say I was OK at Winchester Speedway. I feel like that is really an attack racetrack, but it can grab you just like Darlington does. Characteristics from Winchester is what I’ll carry over to the trucks at Darlington, but I’ll be a little more conservative because you are going a lot faster here. It’s also in a truck. You barely tap the wall here. Aero means everything in these trucks. It doesn’t really matter in a super late model. The tire conservation part of it I think will help with me with the background I have racing on rough racetracks and knowing how to make speed when I need to make speed. I definitely think that will be an advantage though for me.”
With it being throwback weekend, what’s your favorite NASCAR paint scheme of all time?
“Honestly, I don’t have a favorite paint scheme. I like all of them. They all look really cool. Chase Elliott’s throwback scheme from last year was pretty sweet. I don’t really have a throwback scheme that is my favorite. I was born in 2002. I started watching NASCAR in 2004. I can barely remember all the way back to 2010. It’s really hard for me to go ‘ah, that paint scheme.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across eight career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series starts has recorded 91 laps led, three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 15.0
- Produced three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.2 across his first four career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors 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, 1726 laps led, 20 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 4.2 across 28 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.
- Despite competing in a limited schedule, he led the ARCA Menards Racing Series in laps led in 2018 and 2019.
Chandler Smith No. 51 JBL/Smith General Contracting Tundra:
KBM-52: The No. 51 JBL team will race KBM-52 for Sunday’s race at Darlington. The Tundra has raced once this year, with Kyle Busch at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. Busch earned the chassis best result with a runner-up finish in 2018 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected one win, 95 laps led, one top-five and one top-10 finish resulting in an average finish of 11.0 across two starts at Darlington. Kasey Kahne led a race-high 95 laps en route to victory in the 2011 event.
- KBM holds the NGROTS records for most career wins (79) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). 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).
- With 34 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet