Tuesday, Aug 09

Chandler Smith Finishes 13th at Knoxville

Chandler Smith Finishes 13th at Knoxville NK Photography Photo
After finishing runner-up in last year’s inaugural event at Knoxville Raceway and having a fast Charge Me Tundra TRD Pro in final practice, Chandler Smith had high hopes of coming out on top entering Saturday night’s Clean Harbors 150.
 
Smith started the 150-lap event in the 10th position and would end Stage One in the seventh position, before track conditions began changing and he would report a tight-handling Tundra for the rest of the event.  The 19-year-old driver would end the night in the 13th position and fall two spots to fourth in a close battle for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season title. With three races remaining, Smith sits 14 tallies behind his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek.
 
 
Stage One Recap
 
·        Smith started Saturday’s feature from the 10th position after finishing second in Qualifying Race #2. By lap 15 he had advanced up to the seventh position and would slide back and forth between seventh and eighth throughout the stanza as he reported that his Tundra TRD Pro lacked front turn and drive off the corners.
·        A three-truck accident on lap 32, set up a one-lap shootout to the stage end with the No. 18 Toyota lined up in eighth. Smith was able to gain one spot on the final lap to earn four stage points.
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
·        The crew put on four fresh tires, filled the Charge Me Tundra with fuel and made chassis adjustments during the controlled pit stop.
·        When Stage Two went green on lap 41, the Georgia native returned to the seventh position as scoring was locked during the controlled caution period.
·        Handling issues continued to plague the No. 18 team and Smith fell outside of the top 10. On lap 75 he had fallen back to the 14th spot, but the truck seemed better on the long run and he back to move back forward.
·        When Stage Two came to completion at lap 90, he was scored in the 11th position.
 
 
Final Stage Recap:
 
·        Before hitting pit road for the next controlled pit stop, Smith communicated that his Charge Me Tundra was “a tick tight on throttle and doesn’t have good drive on exit.” The 18 team once again put on four fresh tires, filled the truck with fuel and took another swing at improving the handling for Smith.
·        The Georgia native had a strong initial start to the Final Stage moving up two spots from 11th to ninth over the first four laps, but slowly began to fade again.
·        When the seventh caution of the night occurred on lap 115, he was scored in the 13th position.
·        Smith would teeter totter just inside the top 15 for the remainder of the event, ultimately finishing 13th when the race came to a close on lap 150.
 
 
 
Clean Harbors 150 Recap
 
  • Todd Gilliland earned his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, Ty Majeski, and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top-five finishers.
  • There were nine cautions for 45 laps and six lead changes among four drivers.
 
 
How Chandler Smith's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
·        John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished second.
·        Buddy Kofoid, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 11th.
 
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
Smith fell two positions to fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks series regular season standings. After 13 events, he sits 14 tallies behind his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek.
 
 
Next Race:
 
Smith will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action Friday, June 24th at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. Live coverage of the Rackley Roofing 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8 p.m. ET.

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