- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite team head to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for Saturday’s Toyota 200. Smith comes into the event riding a streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place finish at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in his most recent race. Saturday’s race will be the first of three races in the Truck Series Triple Truck Challenge, with an extra $50,000 on the line for the winner. The remaining two races of the Triple Truck Challenge will be June 24 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway and July 9 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. If a driver can win two of the three races, they will be awarded an extra $50,000 totaling $150,000 and if the same driver wins all three races, they earn a $300,000 bonus bringing the total to $500,000.
- After 10 races Smith sits fourth in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season point standings, 28 tallies behind his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek. Through the first 10 events of the season Smith ranks second among Truck Series regulars in average finish (9.7), third in average starting position (7.6) and average running position (8.934) and fourth in driver rating (99.8). He has produced one win, 56 laps led, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in his sophomore campaign.
- Smith has made three starts at Gateway since 2019. He came from the 25th starting position in 2019 to finish fourth in just his second career Truck Series start. Last year a hub issue relegated Smith to a 28th-place finish and in 2020 a mid-race accident relegated him to a 23rd-place finish. The Toyota Racing Development driver has also made two ARCA Menards Series starts at Gateway, finishing in the runner-up spot in 2020 and 16th in 2019.
- The Georgia driver 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.
- In addition to his Truck Series schedule in 2022, Smith is competing in a three-race schedule with Sam Hunt Racing (SHR). Smith finished 38th in his series debut at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after a mid-race wreck and finished 21st at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. His final race with SHR will come Oct. 22 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
- 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 produced one top-10 finish and an average finish of 19.3 across three Truck Series starts at Gateway. His best result was a seventh-place finish with Dillon in 2010.
- Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services, returns 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 Saturday’s race at Gateway. 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.
We are in the middle of an eight-week stretch of races. Do you enjoy having races every week?
“I enjoy it because it’s more seat time for myself and the more you are in the seat, the more you are making laps — it doesn’t matter where you are at. I’m mastering my craft and getting better with my craft every single weekend, so the more I can be in the seat every single weekend, the faster that progression grows. With that being said, I’ve been a really big fan of it, and I know my fans have been big fans of it as well. I know it’s been really hard on my crew guys, the shop guys and everybody at KBM, so a big tip of the hat to everybody there that’s been working really hard. I’m really proud of everybody because they’ve been working endless hours just to get us to the race track. Really proud of those guys for giving us really fast Safelite Tundras.”
Is Gateway a unique track to race at?
“It’s very unique. It’s a little over a mile and it kind of falls under the same category as Iowa, is it a short track or is it not a short track? I believe that Iowa is a short track and I believe Gateway is also a short track and with that being said, that is my background and my roots and I’m really excited to go Gateway and finally get off these mile-and-a-halves. We’ve had good strong runs and have a win on a mile-and-a-half this year, but I don’t like mile-and-a-halves and I’d much rather be at a short track somewhere in America. So, I’m really happy to be going to Gateway with my whole Safelite KBM crew.”
How does racing at Gateway during the day compare to racing there at night?
“Anywhere you go in general when you go from day to night, or night to day, night time races don’t usually have as fall off as day time races – usually there is more overall grip at night time races and you don’t have as many balance issues as you would in the day. So, with that being said, I think it’s going to more important to have a really good handling truck in the day time, especially considering it’s a short track. There isn’t going to be any resin there and there is probably going to be some long runs, honestly. With that being said, from last year being a night race to the year before being a day race, I can remember it was really critical to have a good handling truck at the day race than it was at the night race.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 48 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded three wins, 362 laps led, 18 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.8.
- 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 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.
- 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-70: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-70 for Saturday’s race. Smith has two victories with this Tundra TRD Pro, earlier this year at Las Vegs Motor Speedway and in last year’s season finale at Phoenix Raceway. Smith has been the only driver to pilot this chassis, scoring two wins, three top-five and five top-10 finishes across seven starts.
KBM-70 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected two wins, 422 laps led, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.9 across 26 starts at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
- Christopher Bell was victorious at the 1.25-mile track in 2016 and Darrell Wallace Jr., won the 2014 event.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (93) 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.