- Chandler Smith and the No. 18 JBL team head to Knoxville Raceway Friday looking to solidify their spot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs. With two races remaining in the regular season, Smith currently holds a 31-point advantage over Johnny Sauter for the 10th and final spot on the playoff grid.
- The 19-year-old driver has made a remarkable rally in the point standings over the last four events. When the Camping World Trucks left Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, he sat 12th on the playoff grid, 35 points behind Sauter for the 10th position. Over the four-race span, Smith has tallied 134 total points, fourth-most in the series. Despite a disappointing 23rd-place finish in the series’ last stop at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., the talented teenager has gained 66 points on Sauter.
- Knowing it will be a tight battle for the final spot in the playoffs, the No. 18 has executed a strategy of scoring stage points in recent events. Over the last three races by finishing seventh or better in five of the six stages, including winning Stage Two at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, the team accumulated a total of 31 stage points.
- Across 13 starts this season, Smith has two top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 17.9. He produced a season-best result of fourth at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. He sits second in Rookie of the Year standings, 21 points behind Carson Hocevar. The Toyota Racing Development driver has 10 top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes across 29 career Camping World Truck Series starts, including a career-best runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2019.
- Smith showed speed in the first Camping World Truck Series dirt race of the season at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, climbing his way from his 21st starting position to 11th over the first 26 laps, but a pair of incidents after that would leave him with a disappointing 34th-place finish.
- Aiming to keep his skills sharp, Smith spent his off weekend from the Truck Series behind the wheel of a Late Model Stock Car July 3 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. After turning the 12th-fastest time in qualifying, he went on to finish the 200-lap race in the seventh position. A regular in the Super Late Model ranks, Saturday was just his second career start in the Late Model Stock Car division.
- Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman calls the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team this season. Stockman led the No. 51 team to four wins in his first season atop the pit box at KBM in 2020. He came to the organization with experience as a crew chief in all three national series, including a Truck Series championship with Austin Dillon in 2011 and an Xfinity Series championship with Dillon in 2013. Stockman has been atop the pit box for two dirt races, his best result was a fifth-place finish with Ty Dillon at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio in 2014.
- JBL, the authority in engineering superior sound, will be the primary sponsor for the No. 18 team this week at Knoxville and again Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Speedway. Safelite AutoGlass – the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services – returns to Smith’s Tundra Aug. 20 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
The two remaining regular season races are on unique tracks. Is one of them more of a wild card than the other?
“Not really. Knoxville is obviously a dirt track a, so it is going to be chaotic just like Bristol dirt was. We had a really strong truck at Bristol dirt, driving through the field and we ended up getting taken out. I think we are going to have to play it really conservative, we are right on the playoff bubble. We’re good by a decent bit, so all we really have to do is survive right now.”
After racing on dirt for the first time at Bristol, are you looking forward to Knoxville?
“For sure, my JBL Toyota Tundra was a rocket ship at Bristol dirt, so that definitely made it that much more fun. I’m looking forward to Knoxville, it’s going to be a completely different atmosphere for sure than Bristol dirt was. I’m ready for whatever it throws at us.”
No. 18 Tundra – Knoxville Raceway Advance Page Two
As you’ve prepared for racing at Knoxville, how do you think it will be different than what you experienced at Bristol?
“I don’t think the racing is going to be much different, I think there is going to be two lanes. The SRX just raced there a few weeks ago and I’ve watched that race obviously, there was two lanes a bit there and you could race around each other and not run over each other. I feel like there is going to be two grooves, where we can race side-by-side fairly clean. I think it’s going to drive a lot like a short track on a Saturday night to be honest with you.”
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
- Across 29 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded 187 laps led, 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.8.
- Posted an average finish of 7.7 across his final seven of 12 total Truck Series starts in 2020, including third-place finishes in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway and his first career superspeedway start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October.
- Produced three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.2 across his first four career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in 2019. He led 55 laps and finished eighth in his Gander Trucks debut at Iowa Speedway last July and then posted top-five finishes in his final three starts, including a runner-up finish at Bristol (Tenn.) 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. 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.
Chandler Smith’s No. 18 JBL Tundra:
KBM-25: The No. 18 JBL team will unload chassis number KBM-25 for Friday’s night’s race at Knoxville Raceway. Smith raced the same Toyota at the dirt race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he was relegated to a 34th-place finish after being involved in an accident in the Final Stage. Todd Gilliland won with this Tundra at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October of 2019. The truck has two other career wins, 2017 with Noah Gragson at Martinsville and 2016 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill. with Christopher Bell. In addition to Smith’s Bristol dirt outing, Todd Gilliland finished fifth with KBM-25 in 2019 at Eldora Speedway.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- Martin Truex Jr. won the inaugural dirt race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March while Darrell Wallace Jr. (2014) and Christopher Bell (2015) both claimed victories at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (88) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Truex Jr. became the 16th 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 21 career victories.