Date: Feb. 19, 2021
Event: BrakeBest Select 159 (Race 2 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course (3.61-mile, 14-turn road course)
Format: Three Stages; 12 laps/13 laps/26 laps
Start/Finish: 8th/12th (Running, completed 51 of 51 laps)
Winner: Ben Rhodes of ThorSport Racing (Toyota)
In his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series road course event, Chandler Smith recorded the third best average running position (8.315) of all the drivers in the field and was in line for a top-10 finish before getting spun from behind while running seventh in the second of what would be three attempts at NASCAR overtime.
After pitting for four fresh tires before the start of the final overtime period, the talented teenager would drive from 27th to 12th before the race ended under caution.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the eighth position after a performance matrix, based off the No. 18 team’s ranking in 2020 owner points standings, as well as his finishing position and the fastest lap he turned during the Camping World Truck Series’ previous race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
- As the race began under “wet” conditions, Smith advanced up to the fifth position in the early stages. He communicated that he was unable to run “the traditional line” and that the track was still very wet during the first caution of the night on Lap 10.
- The ensuing restart was a one-lap shootout to the end of Stage One, which saw Smith gain two positions to finish third.
Stage Two Recap:
- Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman ordered up a fuel-only stop between stages. With several teams electing not to pit, the JBL Tundra lined up in the 23rd position when Stage Two went green on Lap 23.
- The Georgia native hit pit road from the 16th position just before the third caution of the night occurred on Lap 24. The JBL over-the-wall crew put on four slick tires and filled the No. 18 Toyota with fuel.
- Stage Two would end under caution with Smith scored in the 23rd position.
Final Stage Recap:
- The JBL Tundra restarted from the 11th position when the Final Stage went green on Lap 27. By the time the next caution flew on Lap 31, the talented teenager had advanced to fourth.
- Stockman asked his young driver to save fuel under caution so that the team would have enough should the race go to overtime.
- As the action intensified and cautions began to breed more cautions, Smith continued to run just outside the top five. He was running sixth when the sixth caution of the night set up a green-white-checkered finish.
- He had lost one position when the next caution occurred on Lap 46 just before the leader Ben Rhodes took the white flag, setting up a second NASCAR overtime.
- Shortly after restarting seventh, contact from behind caused Smith to spin. After the caution was displayed, he brought the JBL Tundra to pit road for four fresh tires and lined up 27th for the final attempt at NASCAR overtime.
- The Georgia native went to work over the final two circuits, making his way up to 12th before the race ended on Lap 51 when a car was stopped on the track.
Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 JBL Tundra for KBM
How did your night go?
“Overall, it was a good night at Daytona International Speedway with the road course. We had a really good JBL Toyota Tundra, the driver just lacked experience and more seat time. We were running in the top 10, or so, when overtime kept kicking in and finally got wrecked. We were able to drive from 27th to 12th in the last two laps, so that was a positive and we’ll keep building off of it and keep moving forward.”
BrakeBest Select 159 Recap:
- Ben Rhodes opened the 2021 season with victories in each of the first two events. Rhodes now has five career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins. Sheldon Creed, John Hunter Nemechek, Todd Gilliland, and Riley Herbst rounded out the top five.
- There were eight lead changes among six different drivers. There were 10 cautions for 20 laps.
How Smith’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished third
- Parker Chase, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 23rd
Camping World Trucks Driver Championship Standings:
Smith and the No. 18 JBL team leave the second race on the Camping World Truck Series schedule fourth in the championship standings, 30 points behind Rhodes.
Smith will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action on Friday March 5 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the Silver State 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.