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Chandler Smith’s Tough Luck Continues at Darlington

Saturday, May 08 441
Chandler Smith’s Tough Luck Continues at Darlington NK Photography Photo
Chandler Smith had a fast Safelite AutoGlass Tundra in Friday night’s 200 at Darlington Raceway, but saw a top-five run derailed when he got caught up in a 17-truck pileup on the frontstretch late in the race.
Despite numerous tries to repair the No. 18 Toyota, Smith would end his night in the garage and be credited with a 27th-place result.
Stage One Recap
  • Smith started from the eighth position based on NASCAR’s performance-matrix formula.
  • The Safelite Tundra had moved up two positions, to sixth, when the competition caution flew on lap 15. The Georgia native communicated that his Toyota was “a little free” before hitting pit road for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment.
  • The Toyota Racing Development driver elected to take the lap-21 restart from the top of row five.
  • He had advanced to the fifth position when the next caution occurred on lap 25.
  • The No. 18 Toyota lined up on the top of the third row for the ensuing restart, but after spinning his tires trying to get up to speed fell back to the eighth spot.
  • Smith would cross the stripe in the seventh position to end Stage One on lap 45.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Between stages, Stockman would order up a four-tire and fuel stop with another wedge adjustment. Smith lined up on the inside of the fourth row when Stage Two went green on Lap 52.
  • The Safelite Tundra was scored ninth when the fifth caution of the event flew on lap 81 for a two-truck incident.
  • The over-the-wall crew executed a speedy four-tire and fuel stop, but with four trucks staying out, the 18-year-old rookie lined up on the bottom of row four for the lap-87 restart.
  • Smith would gain a handful of positions over the final three laps and end Stage Two fourth.
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 on the inside of row two when the green flag came back out on lap 95.
  • Entering Turn One, he dove to the inside of his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek attempting to make a three-wide pass for the lead. The move was unsuccessful, and Smith would fall in line in the fifth position.
  • Another caution flew on lap 110. Smith relayed to Stockman that his Toyota “needed to keep more momentum going through Turns Three and Four,” before hitting pit road for four tires and fuel.
  • With most of the lead-lap drivers electing to remain on track, the No. 18 Tundra was on the top of row nine for the ensuing restart.
  • As the field exited the restart zone, things got bottlenecked and trucks went spinning in all directions. As Smith turned left to the inside to try avoiding being involved, he got clipped from behind and turned right into the 17-truck incident.
  • Despite numerous trips to pit road to fix the Safelite Tundra, Smith would end the night in the garage relegated to a disappointing 27th-place finish.
Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra for KBM:
How did your race go?
“We had a really strong Safelite Tundra again tonight, especially once we got some track position and into some cleaner air. We were in line for another top-five run, just didn’t have anywhere to go once that big wreck broke out. I thought I was by it and then got hit from behind and turned right into it. Not sure what we need to do to get some luck to go our way. We had a really strong truck on the road course at Daytona earlier this year, so looking forward to our next race at COTA.” 200 Recap
  • Sheldon Creed captured his first victory of 2021 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series beating Ben Rhodes. Carson Hocevar, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.
  • There were 12 cautions for 66 laps. There were 20 lead changes among 12 different drivers.
How Chandler Smith's KBM Teammates Fared:
·        John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished eighth.
·        Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 23rd.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
Smith and the No. 18 team lost two spots in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. They leave the eighth race on the Camping World Truck Series schedule in the 13th position, 24 points behind Johnny Sauter for the 10th and final playoff spot.
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