Making just his second career start on a mile-and-a-half track, Chandler Smith methodically maneuvered his way through the top 10 in the Final Stage of Friday night's World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to pick up his second consecutive top-five finish in Truck Series action, and the first of his career on a 1.5-mile track.
Stage One Recap:
- Smith started from the fifth position after a performance matrix based off his finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the ranking of the fastest lap he turned from the previous race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
- The Georgia native fell back a few positions in the early stages of the race. After the competition caution on Lap 10, Smith elected to start on the outside of the fourth row.
- He was running seventh on Lap 16 when he got aero loose underneath another truck and lost the rear-end of his JBL Tundra. He went sliding up the track nearly making contact with another competitor but was able to remarkably gain control of his Toyota and continue on while only losing two positions.
- The No. 51 team would end Stage one in the 10th position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Smith communicated to veteran crew chief Danny Stockman that his JBL Tundra was "really snappy" before hitting pit road for four fresh tires and fuel with a major chassis adjustment before the start of Stage Two.
- The Toyota Racing Development driver lined up on the inside of row six when Stage Two went green on Lap 37. He would settle into the 13th position for most of the stage but lost one position in the closing laps and would finish 14th.
Final Stage Recap:
- The 18-year-old driver reported being loose on entry before hitting pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop with more adjustments before the start of the Final Stage. He chose to line up on the inside of row six when the Final Stage went green on Lap 67.
- He communicated that the JBL Toyota was "skating" early in the Final Stage and fell back to the 15th position on Lap 75. As he began to log more laps, the truck began to come to him and before the fourth caution slowed the field on Lap 84 was back up to the 12th spot.
- Stockman summoned his young driver down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, and another major chassis adjustment. Once again, he lined up on the inside of the sixth row for the ensuing restart.
- A bold move to the inside once the field went back green allowed him to move up to the eighth position before the fifth and final caution slowed the field for the final time on Lap 90.
- On the ensuing restart, Smith lined up on the inside of the third row. He fell back to the seventh position on Lap 97, but then maneuvered his way back inside the top five on Lap 100.
- As a long green-flag run ensued, he began posting his fastest lap times of the night and on lap 106 made his way up to the fourth position. He would lose one spot with 10 laps remaining and bring his Toyota home in the fifth position for the second consecutive race.