NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Overview:
Event: CarShield 200 presented by CK Power, Race 14 of 23, 200 Laps – 55/55/50; 200 Miles
Location: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Ill. (1.25-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 30, 2020 at noon ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to Know
- Chandler Smith will make his fourth NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start of 2020 driving the No. 51 JBL Tundra Sunday at World Wie Technology Raceway at Gateway. Smith, who has made just seven career Gander Trucks starts, will be returning to a track that he’s already raced at in the Truck Series for the first time. After qualifying was washed out for last year’s event, the Georgia native rolled off in the 25th position because he was driving the No. 46 Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports’ fourth team that only raced part time. In just his second Gander Trucks start, the talented teenager would make his way into the top 10 for most of the race, and over the final 20 laps gained four positions to end the day with a fourth-place finish in just his second start in NASCAR’s third division.
- Sunday’s race will mark the final race of the Triple Truck Challenge in the Gander Truck Series. This year’s program consisted of the events at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Aug. 21) and this week at Gateway. Gander RV & Outdoors put an extra $50,000 on the line for the winner of each of those three events and bonuses should a driver win two of the three, or all three races. Sheldon Creed won the first event and Zane Smith won the second event; each can claim a $150,000 bonus if they win on Sunday at Gateway.
- On Sunday, NASCAR will implement a new pit road procedure. At stage breaks, teams may choose to pit, and the field is frozen. Teams will be granted three minutes to complete service during the break. If a team goes over the allotted time, they will be sent to the rear on the restart. All caution periods outside of stage breaks will be “quickie” yellows, which allows teams the opportunity to add fuel and/or make adjustments but not tires. NASCAR will work with teams on flat tires or damaged rims. This procedure is similar to what has been used at Eldora in recent years. Gateway is the only race this season that will use these procedures.
- 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. So far in three starts in 2020, he has an average starting position of 11.3 and average finish of 26.7. He led 31 laps last week before getting caught up in a mid-race accident which relegated him to a 20th-place finish at Dover (Del) International 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 seven 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 twice. Despite only starting seven of the 10 events, the racing prodigy sits ninth in the points standings, is tied for the series lead with two poles and is second in laps led (297). Across 27 career ARCA Menards Series starts, Smith has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1726 laps led, 19 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 4.3.
- The No. 51 team ranks sixth in the owner’s point standings after 13 races, trailing the No. 16 team by 84 tallies. 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 12.5. 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 lone race at Gateway in the Truck Series was a seventh-place finish with Austin Dillon in 2010.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
How much of an advantage will it be for you to get to run the ARCA Menards Series race on Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway? “I feel like it will definitely help a tremendous amount because I will know what the track will feel like without PJ1. Last year, we raced with PJ1, and this year it isn’t going to have PJ1. Being able to have the track time and experience before the truck without the PJ1, I feel like is going to be huge for us. We have a decent starting position this weekend, so it should be good.”
This will be the first time you’re going back to a track that you’ve already raced at in the Truck Series. Will that allow you to prepare better? “That is going to be a big thing for me. I already raced the truck here last year. We started deep in the field but ended up getting a top-five finish. It’s going to be big for me. I already have experience here. I had a strong finish in the truck there last year. I’m really c onfident going into it. I know Danny and the guys are going to get my JBL Toyota Tundra hooked up pretty good for me. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Now that you have a few races under you belt this year in the trucks, what are your goals for the rest of the season?
“I think I’m speaking for the whole team when I say this. The goal this year is to get as many wins as we can. It’d be nice to get the owner’s points, but if we just keep racing points, I feel like just me personally as a driver I go out there and try to win while the points will situate itself out. Me, Danny and the whole team want to get wins. We are going to get some before the season is over with.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across seven 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 13.9
- 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, 19 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 4.3 across 27career 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 Tundra:
KBM-60: The No. 51 JBL team will race KBM-60 for Sunday’s race at Gateway. The Tundra is a perfect two-for-two on the season. Brandon Jones picked up his first Gander Trucks victory with this Toyota at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., in June and KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch swept all three stages while leading a race-high 108 laps with it en route to victory at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in February. Todd Gilliland earned a runner-up finish at Gateway with this chassis in last year’s event.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected two wins, 363 laps led, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.6 across 20 starts at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
- Christopher Bell was victorious at the 1.25-mile track in 2016 and Darrell Wallace Jr., won the 2014 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