Date: Sept. 17, 2020
Event: UNOH 200 (Race 17 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (0.533-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 55 laps/55 laps/90 laps
Start/Finish: 9th/5th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Winner: Sam Mayer of GMS Racing (Chevrolet)
Chandler Smith and the No. 51 JBL team went a lap down in the opening stage of Thursday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol but were able to fight back and earned a fifth-place finish. After taking the wave around at the end of Stage One, veteran crew chief Danny Stockman used a two-tire stop at the end of Stage Two to gain valuable track position for his young driver.
Smith would start the Final Stage on the outside of the fourth row and after making his way up to the fourth spot with just over 50 laps remaining, eventually would cross the finish line in the sixth position. When post-race technical inspection cleared, the fifth-place truck was disqualified, leaving the Georgia native with his first top-five finish of 2020 in the Truck Series and his fourth across 11 career starts.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the ninth position after a performance matrix based off his finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the ranking of the fastest lap he turned from the previous race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
- The JBL Tundra lost a few positions on the initial start and was scored in the 13th position when the first caution of the event occurred on Lap 8. After going back green, Smith began falling back in the running order as he reported that his Toyota was “way too free.”
- As he got mired in a gaggle of lap traffic in the closing laps of the stage, the leader was able to work his way around him. Smith would finish the opening stage one lap down in the 16th spot.
Stage Two Recap:
- Stockman elected to take the wave around in between stages, and Smith regained his spot on the lead lap. He would restart 16th when Stage Two went green on Lap 57.
- Smith once again got lapped just before the third caution of the night occurred on Lap 82 but was awarded the “Lucky Dog” as the first truck one-lap down. When pit road opened, he brought the No. 51 Tundra to the attention of the over-the-wall crew, who administered a four-tire and fuel stop and made a trackbar adjustment in an effort to improve the handling for their young driver.
- The 18-year-old driver restarted 16th on Lap 88 and would end Stage Two in the same spot on Lap 110.
Final Stage Recap:
- Stockman elected for a left-side tires and fuel stop between stages hoping to gain valuable track position. Smith would choose to start the Final Stage from the outside of the fourth row. He settled in line in the seventh position on Lap 130 but began to move forward. He moved into the top five for the first time on Lap 140 and had just maneuvered into the fourth position when the fifth and final caution of the nigh waved on Lap 156.
- With track position being so valuable, Stockman kept the JBL Tundra on track. Smith took the restart on Lap 166 on the inside of row two but settled in line in the sixth position on Lap 175. He momentarily made his way back into the top five but would cross the stripe in the sixth position.
- When the fifth-place truck was disqualified in post-race inspection, the No. 51 team was officially credited with a fifth-place finish.
UNOH 200 Recap:
- Seventeen-year-old driver Sam Mayer picked up the first Gander Trucks victory of his career finishing 4.413 seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Brett Moffitt. Tanner Gray, Parker Kligerman, and Smith rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 41 laps. There were three lead changes among three drivers.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 12th
- Raphael Lessard, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 18th
Gander Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team ranks eighth in the Gander Trucks owner’s championship standings after race one of the Round of 12. The team is tied in points with the No. 16 team but is ranked on eighth based on the tie breaker, which is best finish in the round. The No. 16 team finished the event 25th, while the No. 51 team was fifth. The bottom two teams will be eliminated after the third event of the Round of 10 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Oct. 3.
Smith will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 JBL/Smith General Contracting Tundra when the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series resumes action on Friday Sept. 25 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the World of Westgate 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.