Chandler Smith advances in Truck playoffs with Bristol win

Chandler Smith’s first career NASCAR Truck Series victory couldn’t have come at a better time.

Smith went three-wide with then-leader Sheldon Creed and Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate John Hunter Nemechek following a restart with five of 200 laps remaining.

Nemechek was first to clear to the lead but as he came off Turn 4, he veered to the right and Smith went inside and claimed the lead for the first time in the race.

From there, Smith held off Grant Enfinger by .422 seconds to win Thursday night’s race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Not only was it his first career victory but facing elimination from title contention, Smith’s win automatically locked him into Round 2.

“Man, God is good. God is so damn good,” Smith, 19, said. “I’ve really been tested here the last year or two and tested my faith. I have to thank everyone behind me. This is just incredible. I’m speechless right now.

“I feel like Truck races are the hardest out of all three series right now. In 2019 I felt like I was really, really good. Nothing has changed about me – the competition has gotten a lot harder.

“It’s just finally paid off.”

Todd Gilliland and Austin Hill were eliminated from further title contention. Also advancing to the second round are Creed, Nemechek, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes.

Nemechek ended up third in the race, Friesen fourth and Johnny Sauter fifth.

Creed, who led 189 laps, suffered a flat tire on the final restart and ended up 19th and two laps down.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, most of the lead-lap trucks elected to pit with Creed the first off pit road.

Austin Hill and Tyler Ankrum were penalized for speeding on pit road and Zane Smith was penalized for his team throwing equipment. All had to restart the race from the rear of the field.

When the race resumed on Lap 122, Hocevar – who stayed out – led the way. He was followed by Creed, Friesen, Enfinger and Nemechek.

Creed quickly powered back into the lead entering Turn 3 after the restart.

Hailie Deegan spun Parker Kligerman on Lap 130 in an incident that also collected Clay Greenfield to bring out the seventh caution of the race.

The race resumed on Lap 137 with Creed out front followed by Hocevar, Enfinger and Nemechek.

Taylor Gray, Zane Smith, Chase Purdy and Jennifer Jo Cobb wrecked off Turn 4 on Lap 155 to bring out a caution.

 

The race returned to green on Lap 164 with Creed out front followed by Hocevar, Nemechek and Enfinger.

Nemechek quickly moved into second on the restart behind Creed.

Kligerman spun off Turn 2 with a flat tire on Lap 172 to bring out the ninth caution of the race. The leaders stayed on the track and Creed remained out front on the restart on Lap 178.

Austin Wayne Self spun off Turn 2 on Lap 180 to put the race back under caution. Creed continued to lead the way when the race returned to green with 14 laps to go.

On Lap 189, a multi-truck wreck erupted between Turns 1 and 2 as Austin Hill got loose, hit the end of the pit road wall and collected Deegan, Self, Derek Kraus, Lawless Alan and Josh Berry.

The race was halted for nearly eight minutes as the track was cleared of debris. When the race returned to green with five laps to go, Creed was followed by Chandler Smith, Nemechek and Hocevar.

Stage 2

Creed completed a sweep the stage wins, besting Ankrum by 3.1 seconds to take the Stage 2 victory.

Austin Hill was third, Zane Smith fourth and Chandler Smith rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, a handful of lead-lap trucks pit but Creed remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 67.

On Lap 70, Drew Dollar got loose and hit the wall coming off Turn 2. He drifted across the track and triggered a multi-truck incident that collected Danny Bohn, Howie Disavino III, Tate Fogleman, Dawson Cram and Spencer Boyd.

 

The race was red-flagged for nearly seven minutes to clean fluid and debris from the track. Creed remained in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 80.

With 20 laps remaining in the stage, Creed led Austin Hill by 1.7 seconds as Ankrum ran third and Chandler Smith fourth.

Stage 1

Creed held off Austin Hill on a one-lap dash to take the Stage 1 win.

Crafton was third, Zane Smith fourth and Enfinger rounded out the top-five.

Creed started on the pole and took the lead early before a caution was displayed on Lap 3 after Sam Mayer wrecked off Turn 2.

The race returned to green on Lap 14 with Creed out front followed by Nemechek and Crafton.

On Lap 22, Tanner Gray wrecked off Turn 2 to bring out another caution. The race returned to green on Lap 33 with Creed still in command.

With 10 laps remaining in the first stage, Creed has built a 3.8-second lead over Crafton while Austin Hill ran third.

Spencer Boyd spun on Lap 49 after contact with Disavino to bring out another caution. Several lead-lap trucks elected to pit but Creed remained on the track and in the lead on the restart with one lap to go.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 18 Chandler Smith Toyota 200 1:47'31.768     5
2 98 United States Grant Enfinger Toyota 200 1:47'32.190 0.422 0.422  
3 4 United States John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 200 1:47'32.867 1.099 0.677  
4 52 United States Stewart Friesen Toyota 200 1:47'33.001 1.233 0.134  
5 13 United States Johnny Sauter Toyota 200 1:47'33.175 1.407 0.174  
6 42 Carson Hocevar Chevrolet 200 1:47'33.564 1.796 0.389 6
7 88 United States Matt Crafton Toyota 200 1:47'34.062 2.294 0.498  
8 21 Zane Smith Chevrolet 200 1:47'34.312 2.544 0.250  
9 99 United States Ben Rhodes Toyota 200 1:47'34.635 2.867 0.323  
10 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 200 1:47'34.944 3.176 0.309  
11 25 Josh Berry Chevrolet 200 1:47'35.030 3.262 0.086  
12 24 Doug Coby Chevrolet 200 1:47'35.219 3.451 0.189  
13 19 United States Derek Kraus Toyota 200 1:47'35.770 4.002 0.551  
14 22 United States Austin Wayne Self Chevrolet 200 1:47'36.091 4.323 0.321  
15 9 Colby Howard Chevrolet 200 1:47'36.107 4.339 0.016  
16 40 United States Ryan Truex Chevrolet 200 1:47'36.839 5.071 0.732  
17 56 United States Timmy Hill Chevrolet 200 1:47'36.910 5.142 0.071  
18 45 Alan Lawless Chevrolet 200 1:47'38.015 6.247 1.105  
19 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 198 1:47'26.564 2 Laps 2 Laps 189
20 04 Cory Roper Ford 198 1:47'45.164 2 Laps 18.600  
21 75 United States Parker Kligerman Chevrolet 197 1:47'09.274 3 Laps 1 Lap  
22 32 Sam Mayer Chevrolet 193 1:47'42.883 7 Laps 4 Laps  
23 11 Clay Greenfield Toyota 193 1:47'48.038 7 Laps 5.155  
24 16 United States Austin Hill Toyota 188 1:39'19.813 12 Laps 5 Laps  
25 1 United States Hailie Deegan Ford 188 1:39'20.054 12 Laps 0.241  
26 33 CJ Mclaughlin Toyota 188 1:47'32.871 12 Laps 8'12.817  
27 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb Ford 188 1:47'40.868 12 Laps 7.997  
28 3 Howie Disavino Chevrolet 169 1:36'25.252 31 Laps 19 Laps  
29 17 Taylor Gray Ford 156 1:20'44.718 44 Laps 13 Laps  
30 23 United States Chase Purdy Chevrolet 154 1:19'18.996 46 Laps 2 Laps  
31 20 United States Spencer Boyd Chevrolet 146 1:22'52.232 54 Laps 8 Laps  
32 26 United States Tyler Ankrum Chevrolet 123 1:09'56.377 77 Laps 23 Laps  
33 30 Danny Bohn Toyota 70 40'33.556 130 Laps 53 Laps  
34 51 Dollar Drew Toyota 69 39'48.851 131 Laps 1 Lap  
35 41 Dawson Cram Chevrolet 69 42'10.841 131 Laps 2'21.990  
36 02 United States Kris Wright Chevrolet 69 47'03.585 131 Laps 4'52.744  
37 12 Tate Fogleman Chevrolet 30 39'51.255 170 Laps 39 Laps  
38 15 United States Tanner Gray Ford 21 11'42.655 179 Laps 9 Laps  
39 49 United States Ray Ciccarelli Ford 15 10'56.719 185 Laps 6 Laps  
40 34 United States Josh Reaume Toyota 3 1'02.377 197 Laps 12 Laps  

shares
comments

Related video

NASCAR Truck champ Sheldon Creed moving to Xfinity Series
Previous article

NASCAR Truck champ Sheldon Creed moving to Xfinity Series

Next article

Ford unveils new-look F-150 for 2022 NASCAR Truck Series

Ford unveils new-look F-150 for 2022 NASCAR Truck Series
Load comments