Date: May 1, 2021
Event: Wise Power 200 (Race 7 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City
Format: Three Stages; 30 laps/30 laps/80 laps
Start/Finish: 5th/11th (Running, completed 140 of 140 laps)
Winner: Kyle Busch of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Chandler Smith battled a loose-handling Safelite Tundra throughout Saturday night’s Wise Power 200 at Kansas Speedway. After starting from the fifth position, the rookie driver spent the first half of the race outside of the top 15. Adjustments throughout the event would help improve the handling of the No. 18 Toyota, especially on long runs, and the team would battle its way to an 11th-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the fifth position based on NASCAR’s performance-matrix formula.
- The opening stage would run green to green-checkered caution free, with the No. Safelite Tundra falling back to the 23rd position as Smith communicated that his Toyota was “wrecking loose.”
Stage Two Recap:
- Between stages, Stockman would order up a four-tire and fuel stop with a major trackbar adjustment. Smith lined up on the bottom of the 10th row when Stage Two went green on Lap 37.
- On Lap 50, the Safelite Tundra was scored in the 18th position when Stockman communicated to his young driver that he was posting top-five lap times.
- With his Toyota coming to life on the long run and the stage going green from start to finish, Smith was able to finish the stanza in the 15th position but reiterated that his truck was “really loose to start the run but snugged up some late.”
Final Stage Recap:
- The over-the-wall crew put together a speedy four-tire and fuel stop with another trackbar adjustment between stages. Smith elected to start the Final Stage from the top of row six on Lap 67.
- The short-run speed continued to elude the No. 18 team as Smith was scored in the 18th position with 34 laps remaining. As team’s began to pit under green-flag conditions for their final set of sticker tires, the Safelite Tundra hit pit road on Lap 100.
- When stops had cycled through with 14 laps remaining, Smith was scored in the 13th position. With his Tundra handling the best it had all night, he was able to make his way up to the 10th position before the fourth caution of the night slowed the field with five laps remaining.
- The Georgia native lined up on the bottom of row five for the first attempt at NASCAR overtime. He had his best restart of the night, quickly making his way up to sixth before Stewart Friesen spun right in front of him. As he slowed to avoid a wreck, he would be scored 10th when the caution flew for the fifth time.
- The Safelite Tundra lined up on the top of the fifth row for the second attempt at NASCAR overtime. He made a move to the middle of the pack as the field approached Turn 1, but several trucks came together and impeded each other’s progress.
- In the end, Smith would be scored with an 11th-place finish and pick up the rookie of the race award for the fourth time this season.
How did your race go tonight?
“We battled a really loose Safelite Tundra for most of the night, especially on the short runs. As it snugged up late in a run, I was able to gain some ground, but just really never got the handling where we needed it to be to get up to the front and compete with my teammates. We had a fast Tundra last year at Darlington, so I’m looking forward to getting back there next week.”
Wise Power 200 Recap:
- KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch picked up his second win of 2021 and the 61st of his NASCAR Camping World Trucks career. It was KBM’s fifth consecutive victory, the longest in the history of the organization. Ross Chastain finished 0.665 seconds behind Busch in the runner-up position. Austin Hill, Christian Eckes and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 14 lead changes among seven different drivers. There were five cautions for 25 laps.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished first.
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished fifth.
Camping World Trucks Driver Championship Standings:
Smith and the No. 18 team gained a spot in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. They leave the seventh race on the Camping World Truck Series schedule in the 11th position, 14 points behind Johnny Sauter for the 10th and final playoff spot.
Smith will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Friday May 7 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Live coverage of the LiftKits4Less.com will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 7:30 p.m. ET.