Chandler Smith battled to an eighth-place finish in Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After qualifying seventh, Smith ran just outside the top 10 for most of the event, before a strategy call by veteran crew chief Danny Stockman put the Safelite Tundra inside the top five after teams made green-flag pit stops late in the race.
When pit stops shook out Smith was in sixth-place but was told later that he was a few laps short of making to the end on fuel. The Georgia driver had fallen back to 11th while saving fuel when a caution occurred with four laps remaining. With not having enough fuel to make it to the end, Stockman summoned his young driver to pit road to put on a set of scuffed tires and enough fuel to make it to the end of the event.
The No. 18 Toyota lined up outside the top 20 when the field took the green flag for NASCAR overtime. Over the course of two overtime periods, Smith was able to battle his way back to an eight-place finish. It was his third consecutive and seventh top-10 finish this season.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started Friday’s event from the seventh position after posting a lap of 30.500 seconds at 177.049 mph in the afternoon’s qualifying session.
- The Safelite Tundra fell outside of the top 10 in the openings laps as Smith reported that his Toyota “doesn’t have lateral grip.”
- When the opening stage ended on lap 30, the 19-year-old driver crossed the line in the 12th position.
Stage Two Recap:
- During the stage break, Smith brought his Toyota to the attention of the over-the-wall crew who administered a four-tire and fuel stop. Smith was the ninth driver to exit pit road and then elected to start from the bottom of the fifth row when Stage Two went green on lap 37.
- During Stage Two, Smith reported that his engine wasn’t reaching its full power on the straightaways and that the handling on his No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro was “a little snug.”
- After a one-truck spin brought out the second caution of the night with just seven laps remaining in the stage, most of the field elected to hit pit road, including Smith.
- After getting four fresh Goodyear tires and a full load of Sunoco fuel the Safelite Tundra lined up on the bottom of row six for the ensuing restart. Another caution ended Stage 2 under yellow with Smith in the 14th position.
Final Stage Recap:
- Smith lined up at the bottom of the sixth row when the Final Stage went green on lap 65.
- The Safelite Tundra TRD Pro was running 11th when Stockman elected to be the first truck to hit pit road for regularly scheduled pit stops under green on lap 94.
- When pit stops cycled through Smith was scored in the sixth position with 25 laps remaining.
- As the race continued caution free, Stockman asked his young driver to save fuel with 15 laps remaining. While saving fuel to make it to the end of the race, the Safelite Tundra began to fall back and was scored in the 11th spot when the caution came out with four laps remaining.
- The No. 18 Toyota lined up outside the top 20 when the field took the green flag for NASCAR overtime. Over the course of two overtime periods, Smith was able to battle his way back to an eight-place finish. It was his third consecutive and seventh top-10 finish this season.
North Carolina Education 200 Race Recap:
- Cup Series regular Ross Chastain picked up his first win of the season and fourth of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Christian Eckes and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were five cautions for 25 laps and 15 lead changes among nine drivers.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished third.
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished seventh.
Camping World Trucks Regular Season Driver Standings:
Smith fell one position and currently ranks fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks series regular season standings. After 10 events, he sits 29 tallies behind his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek.
Smith will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Saturday, June 4th at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Ill. Live coverage of the Toyota 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 1:30 p.m. ET.