- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team will make a Thursday night trip to ‘The Paperclip’ for the fifth race of the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Smith has had a strong start to 2022, finishing inside the top five in three of the four events and picking up a victory earlier in the year at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old driver has held the series points lead since the second race of the season and enters this week’s race with a 15-point cushion on reigning champion Ben Rhodes. In addition to leading the point standings, he leads Truck Series regulars in average starting position (4.8), average running position (7.199), average finish (7.8) and fastest laps (22), while his 54 laps led rank him third overall to KBM teammates John Hunter Nemechek (85) and Kyle Busch (62).
- Despite already having 42 career Truck Series starts, Thursday’s trip to Martinsville will be just the second time the talented teenager has tackled the 0.526-mile oval. In last year’s cutoff race to advance to the Championship 4, Smith battled inside the top five for the final 50 laps and ended the day with a respectable fourth-place finish but did not advance to contend for a title at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway.
- Over the weekend, Smith and his wife, Kenzie, revealed on Chandler’s Instagram account that they will be having a baby boy in August and that the couple’s first child will take its father’s name and be Chandler Smith Jr.
- Smith 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. Across 42 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, the Toyota Racing Development product has collected three wins, 17 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.
- 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 six victories at KBM across his first two seasons, including two with Smith behind the wheel in 2021. 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 collected two top-five and three top-10 finishes across five starts at Martinsville, with a best result of third coming with Dillon in 2011.
- The Tundra TRD Pro that Smith will get behind the wheel of on Thursday night, KBM-25, has already won twice at Martinsville. Noah Gragson picked up his first career Truck Series victory with the Tundra in the fall of 2017 and Todd Gilliland picked up his first career Truck Series victory in the fall of 2019.
- Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services will serve as the primary sponsor on Smith’s Toyota this week and for 16 races throughout the 2022 season. Charge Me will be as an associate sponsor on the bedtop of Smith’s No. 18 Tundra TRD Pro for 16 races this season, including this weekend at COTA. Charge Me was founded on the principle that the electric vehicle (EV) revolution will require robust infrastructure support at all levels.
- All three KBM Tundra TRD Pros will carry a special decal on the B post this week promoting Autism Awareness that includes the twitter handle of NASCAR Sammy (@NASCARSammy), an avid NASCAR fan and autism advocate. Fans can visit his website, nascarsammy.com to purchase a decal and help support his mission.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your first start at Martinsville?
“The biggest challenge with Martinsville is getting track position. It’s a short track and it drove like a short track and a lot of grassroots short tracks are position dependent, but it just seemed like at the NASCAR level track position is even more crucial.”
Do you feel that drivers will be less aggressive than last fall because this isn’t a playoff race?
“I don’t feel like this race will be less aggressive than last year’s race even though it is not a playoff race. Just with how everyone has been racing at the start of this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if this will be a really aggressive race.”
If you came home with the grandfather clock on Saturday, where would you put it?
“We have absolutely no room for a grandfather clock, so I have no clue where we would put it.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 42 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded three wins, 360 laps led, 17 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.2.
- Led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Camping World Truck Series debut at Iowa Speedway in July of 2019. Drove a limited schedule for KBM in 2019 (four races) and 2020 (12 races), before going full-time in 2021.
- Has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1783 laps led, 22 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.4 across 34 career ARCA Menards Series starts. Set an ARCA Racing Series record by winning four consecutive poles to start his career and earned his first victory after leading a race-high 102 laps at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway in his fourth series start.
- Has numerous Super Late Model victories across his career, including two marquee wins: the Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. (2021) and SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia (2018). Will compete in several Super Late Model events around his Truck Series schedule in 2022.
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-25: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-25 for Thursday’s race at Martinsville. It is the same Tundra that Smith piloted to a fourth-place finish in last year’s Martinsville race. This Toyota has three career wins, including wins at Martinsville with Todd Gilliland (2019) and Noah Gragson (2017). The other win came with Christopher Bell at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in 2016.
KBM-25 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected eight wins, five poles, 987 laps led, 24 top-five and 38 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.4 across 6o starts at Martinsville. Todd Gilliland picked up the organization’s most recent victory at the 0.526-mile oval in October of 2019. Kyle Busch (2016 & 2019), Darrell Wallace Jr. (2013 & 2014), and Denny Hamlin (2011 & 2012) have all collected two victories at the Virginia track while Noah Gragson (2017) has one win.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (92) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway 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 24 career victories.