Date: May 22, 2021
Event: Toyota Tundra 225 (Race 9 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas (3.426-mile 20-turn road course)
Format: Three Stages; 12 laps/14 laps/15 laps
Start/Finish: 20th/33rd (Running, completed 39 of 41 laps)
Winner: Todd Gilliland of Front Row Motorsports (Ford)
Chandler Smith was running ninth with two laps remaining the Toyota Tundra 225 when his Safelite AutoGlass Tundra experienced a wheel hop and ended up mired in a sandy run-off area. Smith would be relegated to a disappointing 33rd-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the 20th position after posting a lap of 74.809 seconds at 164.098 mph around the 20-turn road course in wet conditions.
- As the opening stanza went start to finish under green-flag conditions, Smith communicated to veteran crew chief Danny Stockman that his Safelite Tundra was “way too tight.”
- Despite the handling issues, the talented teenager was able to gain six positions during the opening stage and finish 14th.
Stage Two Recap:
- Between stages, Stockman would order up a four-tire and fuel stop with chassis adjustments aimed at freeing up Smith’s No. 18 Toyota. Smith lined up 27th when Stage Two went green on lap 14.
- The chassis adjustments brought the Safelite machine to life as Smith gained 11 positions in the first five laps of the stanza. The rookie driver reported to Stockman that his Tundra “fired off really good but starting to fade.” Stockman relayed back that the lap times he was posting were really good.
- With four laps remaining in the stage, Stockman summoned his young driver to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. With several other teams electing to implement the same strategy, Smith would finish Stage Two in the 14th position.
Final Stage Recap:
- Having just pitted near the end of Stage Two, Stockman kept his young driver on the track for the start of the Final Stage. Smith lined up eighth when the green flag came back out on lap 28.
- On the opening lap of the Final Stage, he gained a spot but then fell in line eighth. After spending the majority of the stage running eighth, he was running ninth with two laps remaining when his Toyota wheel hopped into a run-off area. A caution was not displayed, and the Safelite Tundra would remain in the hazard for the remainder of the race and finish two laps down in 33rd.
Toyota Tundra 225 Recap:
- Todd Gilliland captured his first victory of 2021 and second of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career beating Kaz Grala to the stripe by 7.941 seconds. Tyler Ankrum, Grant Enfinger and Sheldon Creed rounded out the top five.
- There were two cautions for two laps. There were eight lead changes among six different drivers.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 12th.
- Parker Chase, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 18th.
Camping World Trucks Driver Championship Standings:
Smith and the No. 18 team remained 13th in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. They leave the ninth race on the Camping World Truck Series 45 points behind Carson Hocevar for the 10th and final playoff spot.
Smith will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Friday May 28 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8:30 p.m. ET.