Date: June 26, 2021
Event: CRC Brakleen 150 (Race 13 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (2.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Stages; 15 laps/15 laps/30 laps
Start/Finish: 11th/25th (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps)
Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Chandler Smith had a fast JBL Tundra in the early stages of Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Pocono Raceway, but a series of setbacks in the second half of the 60-lap event left him with a disappointing 25th-place finish.
Smith finished fifth in the opening stanza and was running sixth in Stage Two when he was called to pit road on Lap 27 for a scheduled stop in an effort to gain track position for the Final Stage. The over-the-wall crew had trouble getting a tire off the JBL Tundra and shortly after returning to the track would go a lap down.
After getting the Lucky Dog early in the Final Stage, a flat right-front tire forced Smith to pit road under green flag conditions and put him back a lap down. The 19-year-old driver would end up finishing 25th.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith lined up 11th for the 60-lap event based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system.
- The Georgia native was in the middle of an opening lap accident, but after looking at photos, veteran crew chief Danny Stockman communicated to his young driver that the damage to the nose of the JBL Tundra was minimal.
- He lined up on the bottom of the fifth row for the ensuing restart and began to march towards the front of the field.
- He would finish the opening stanza in the fifth position, earning five valuable points.
Stage Two Recap:
- Between stages, Smith communicated that his JBL Tundra “fired off a tick free.” Stockman elected to keep his young driver on the track and Smith elected the top off the third row when Stage Two went green on Lap 19.
- The Toyota Racing Development driver was running in the sixth position when Stockman summoned him to pit road on lap 27. After a slow stop he returned to the track just in front of his teammate John Hunter Nemechek, who was leading the race. Nemechek would make his way around Smith, leaving the No. 18 team having to take the Lucky Dog to get back on the lead lap for the Final Stage.
Final Stage Recap:
- The JBL Tundra hit pit road to top off before the start of the Final Stage. Smith would line up 25th when the race went back green on lap 35.
- Two laps later he had advanced to the 20th position when he radioed to his crew that he had a flat tire. After Stockman determined it was the right-front tire, he ordered up fresh right-side tires only. Smith returned to the track.
- The fourth caution of the event occurred with eight laps remaining. Smith hit pit road again for four fresh tires, fuel and for minor repairs to the damage caused to the right-front fender.
- Smith was the second truck one lap down when the field went back green on Lap 54. He would end the day the first truck one lap down in the 25th position.
How did your race go?
“We had a really fast JBL Tundra early in the race and I thought we’d be there at the end of the race battling it out for the win with our teammates, but just like most of this year things didn’t go our way. Doesn’t seem like we can catch a break. Fortunately, we got some points in the first stage and the 13 had a bad day, so we were able to gain a little ground on him for that last spot in the playoffs. I feel like if we can get into the playoffs, we have the speed to make some noise if we can just get a little luck to go our way.”
CRC Brakleen 150 Recap:
- Nemechek scored the Camping World Truck Series victory, beating Busch to the checkered flag by 1.337 seconds. Sheldon Creed, Tyler Ankrum and Austin Hill rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were four cautions for 13 laps. There were eight lead changes among seven drivers.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished first.
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished second.
Camping World Trucks Driver Championship Standings:
Smith and the No. 18 team maintained the 11th position in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. With Grant Enfinger in the eighth spot not being playoff eligible, Smith now sits 31 points ahead of Johnny Sauter for the 10th and final playoff spot with just two races remaining in the regular season.
Smith will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 JBL Tundra when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Friday July 9 at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. Live coverage of the Corn Belt 150 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.