- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team head to Kansas Speedway for the final race in the Round of 10 having already punched their ticket to the Round of 8 via Smith’s win at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Smith dominated the middle race of the Round of 10, leading 176 of the final 177 laps picking up the Stage 2 win and the victory and adding six playoff points that will carry over to the Round of 8. The victory was Smith’s third of 2022 and the fifth of his career. Beginning with his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Bristol last September, he had produced five wins, 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes across his last 23 starts.
- The Toyota Racing Development product has produced three wins in 2022: the second race of the season at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, the regular season finale at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and the series last stop at Richmond. Across 18 Truck Series starts this season Smith has recorded eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. He ranks first among Truck Series regulars in average running position (8.676), laps completed (2469) and quality passes (575), second in average finish (8.8), laps led (334) and fastest laps run (180), and third in driver rating (103.2).
- The 20-year-old driver has three prior Truck Series starts at Kansas Speedway with a best result of fourth coming earlier this season. He finished fifth in October of 2020 and 11th in May of 2021, totaling an average finish of 6.7 across his three starts. Smith has an average finish of 5.0 across five starts on mile-and-a-half tracks in the Truck Series in 2022 and has finished inside the top 10 in all five.
- The No. 18 team will unload KBM-75 for Friday night’s race at Kansas, which is the same truck that Smith dominated with at Pocono Raceway in July in its first career start.
- Smith made the playoffs last year in his first full-time campaign as the 10th seed. He advanced to the Round of 8 with a must-win victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in the final race in the Round of 10. He found himself in another must-win situation in the final race in the Round of 8 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and saw his playoff run end when he finished fourth. As a consolation prize, he won the pole and swept all three stages in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway.
- The Georgia driver earned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 after producing two victories, one pole, 213 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first full-time season. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September of 2021. Across 56 career Truck Series starts, the Toyota Racing Development driver had recorded five wins, one pole, 640 laps led, 22 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.0.
- Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman will once again call the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team in 2022. Stockman’s drivers have produced eight victories at KBM since he joined the organization in 2020, including four with Smith behind the wheel. The veteran crew chief captured a Truck Series championship with Austin Dillon in 2011 and also won an Xfinity Series championship with Dillon in 2013. Stockman’s drivers have produced two top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.6 across seven Truck Series starts at Kansas. His best result was a fourth-place finish earlier this season with Smith. In Xfinity Series action, his drivers have complied three poles, three top-five and four top-five finishes, including runner-up finishes with Austin Dillon (2012) and Daniel Hemric (2018).
- Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services, returned to KBM for a fifth season and will be the primary sponsor on Smith’s Tundra TRD Pro Tundra for 16 races this year, including Friday’s race at Kansas. Charge Me will serve as an associate sponsor on the bedtop of Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro this weekend. Charge Me was founded on the principle that the electric vehicle (EV) revolution will require robust infrastructure support at all levels.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
After having such a dominant performance at Richmond there has been a few weeks off. Have you been itching to get back to the track?
“It is kind of hard having all that momentum and then having to wait several weeks to race again, but I’ve really enjoyed time with my wife and our newborn son more than anything. I’m excited to get back to it but wouldn’t trade the time and memories that we were able to make on the time off.”
With two wins in the last three races do you feel like your team is peaking at the right time?
“I certainly hope so. I feel like we are doing all the right things and really if you look at it, we had a really fast Safelite Tundra at IRP as well and I feel like if we didn’t get wrecked in that race, we could be looking at three in a row. We just need to keep executing the way we are capable of and I’m confident that Danny (Stockman, crew chief) and all the guys on this No. 18 team are going to do just that.”
How good does it feel to be locked into the next round heading into Friday’s race?
“It feels great for sure. It allows us to work on some things and go for the stage wins and the race win in order to try and get some more playoff points to carry over to the next round. We also don’t have the stress that the other teams do trying to advance Friday.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 56 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded five wins, 640 laps led, 22 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.0.
- Earned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 and finished eighth in the championship standings after producing two victories, one pole, 213 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first full-time season. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September and in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway earned his first career pole and swept all three stages en route to his second victory.
- Has posted an average finish of 29.5 across two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2022, with a best result of 22nd coming at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway.
- Has collected 10 wins, 10 poles, 1894 laps led, 23 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.2 across 35 career ARCA Menards Series starts.
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-75: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-75 for Friday night’s race at Kansas. In its only start, Smith led 49 of 60 laps with this Tundra TRD Pro at Pocono Raceway in July en route to his second victory of 2022.
KBM-75 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected five wins, five poles, 717 laps led, 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.0 across 40 starts at Kansas Speedway.
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected three wins at Kansas (2014, 2017, and 2021). Noah Gragson led a race-high 128 laps and swept all three stages in the 2018 event and William Byron earned his first career Camping World Truck Series victory there in 2016.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (97) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway earlier this year, Corey Heim became the 18th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. 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).
- The No. 18, the number which was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 26 career victories.