Chandler Smith battled eventual race winner William Byron for the lead on a handful of restarts early in the Final Stage but was unable to work his way past the NASCAR Cup Series regular. The Safelite Tundra would eventually fall back a few positions later in the 200-lap event and Smith would cross the finish line in the sixth position to earn his fourth consecutive finish of sixth or better this season.
Despite having a solid finish, Smith fell to second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season point standings. After five events, he sits four points behind reigning champion Ben Rhodes.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started Thursday’s 200-lap event from the fourth position after the scheduled qualifying session was cancelled due to rain, ultimately setting the field based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system.
- The Safelite driver would remain inside the top five until a one-truck incident would slow the field for the third time on lap 40. Smith communicated that his Toyota “needs a tick turn on exit” before being summoned to pit road by veteran crew chief Danny Stockman.
- The over-the-wall crew executed a four-tire and fuel stop with a trackbar adjustment and Smith was the second driver to exit pit road. With teams on varying pit strategies, the top 15 trucks for the ensuing restart hadn’t pitted yet, leaving the No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro lined up on the inside of the ninth row.
- Caught in heavy traffic, the Georgia driver would finish the opening stanza in the 21st position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Having already pitted, the No. 18 team remained on track between stages, while a handful of trucks hit pit road for the first time. Smith lined up on the inside of the fifth row when Stage Two went green on lap 60.
- Smith had advanced back to the sixth position when the sixth caution of the event occurred on lap 80. He used the break to update Stockman on the handling of his Toyota “get tight on throttle and loose the nose before hitting pit road for another four-tire and fuel stop with another chassis adjustment.
- The Toyota Racing Development driver returned to the track and elected to line up on the top of the ninth row for the lap-85 restart.
- The No. 18 team would cross the stripe 14th on lap 100 to complete Stage Two.
Final Stage Recap:
- With other teams having to pit, Smith would line up on the outside of the front row when the final stanza went green on lap 108.
- After lining up next to eventual winner William Byron on the front row for the next few restarts, Smith was unable to get a good enough launch to make his way past the Cup Series regular. After the ninth caution of the event, Smith decided to try something different and elected to line up on the inside of row two behind Byron.
- The Safelite Tundra would tuck in line third but with the handling not to Smith’s liking, he would fall back a few positions as the race continued and crossed the finish line on lap 200 in the sixth position.
Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro for KBM
How did your race go?
“We were able to line up on the front row a couple times in the final stage but weren’t able to get around William (Byron). Then we tried lining up behind him for something different and fell back a little bit. Just didn’t have quite what we needed to compete for a win in our Safelite Tundra TRD Pro, but it was a solid day overall. Only two guys that finished ahead of us that are running for points this year.”
Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 Recap:
- William Byron picked up his eighth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch, John Hunter Nemechek, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 11 cautions for 71 laps. There were nine lead changes among six drivers.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished third.
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished second.
Camping World Trucks Regular Season Driver Standings:
Smith fell to second in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks series regular season standings. After five events, he sits four tallies behind reigning Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes.
Smith will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Charge Me Tundra TRD Pro when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Saturday, April 16th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Live coverage of the will be on the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8 p.m. ET.