Chandler Smith – No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra Camping World Trucks Martinsville Preview

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  • Chandler Smith and the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team head to Martinsville Speedway for the final race in the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs. Smith enters Saturday’s elimination race sixth on the playoff grid but finds himself 34 points below the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4 and basically in a must-win situation. Smith was put in a hole by being involved in accidents in each of the first two races in the round which relegated him to finishes of 35th and 19th, respectively at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
  • Despite having 36 career Truck Series starts under his belt since making his debut in June of 2019, the 19-year-old driver will be making his first career start in any series at “The Paperclip.” 
  • Being in a must-win situation is nothing new to Smith, he fended off elimination in the Round of 10 when he collected his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory Sept. 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in the final race of the round. Smith muscled his way past reigning Truck Series champion Shelden Creed on a restart with five laps remaining and then held off his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek to collect the victory in his 34th career start in NASCAR’s third division. 
  • Smith finished the regular season 10th on the Camping World Truck Series playoff grid, 10 points above the cutoff line for qualifying for the post season, after posting three top-five and five top-10 finishes across 15 races. Smith and fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Carson Hocevar are the only two drivers in the playoffs who are competing for a driver’s championship for the first time. Overall, across 20 starts in 2021, Smith has recorded one win, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 18.3. 
  • The Toyota Racing Development driver has one win, 12 top-five, and 16 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 15.6 across 36 career Camping World Truck Series starts. In addition to his Bristol win, he has posted two runner-up finishes; at Knoxville Raceway earlier this season and at Bristol in 2019. 
  • Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman calls the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team in 2021. Stockman led the No. 51 team to four wins in his first season atop the pit box at KBM in 2020 and has earned one with Smith this season. 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. Across four starts at Martinsville, Stockman’s drivers have collected one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.5. His best result was a third-place finish with Dillon in 2011.
  • Safelite AutoGlass – the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services – will serve as the primary sponsor on Smith’s Tundra at Martinsville and for 16 races total this season. Smith General Contracting and QuickTie – a proprietary, patented hold down system for high wind and seismic construction – will be associate partners on the bedtop of the No. 18 Toyota for Saturday’s 200-lap event.

With being 34 points below the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4, how will you approach Saturday’s race?“We just have to go out there and win. Every weekend our goal is to go out there and win races, so nothing has really changed. When it comes push to shove, we are definitely going to give the shove probably a little more than give and take. It’s no different than Bristol, we had to win at Bristol. We had a really good Safelite AuotoGlass Toyota Tundra at Bristol and I expect the same at Martinsville.”

How are you preparing for your first start in any series at Martinsville?“I’ve had a lot of sim time for sure and I’ve talked to a few guys that have been there – talked to Kyle a little bit. I’ve watched a lot of film, to say the least. At the end of the day, it’s a short track and that’s kind of my background and I don’t think there’s going to be much different from short track to short track. At the end of the day, they are all circle tracks and it’s The Paperclip, I’m looking forward to it for sure.”

 What’s it going to take to win on Saturday?“I think its all about being there at the end. For us to even be able to win the race, we have to make sure we survive all the way to the end. I believe in my team, I believe in everybody behind me and know that we’ll have that Safelite AutoGlass Tundra out front by the end of the race.”


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