Chandler Smith triumphs in Las Vegas Truck race

Chandler Smith took the lead, lost it and then regained it – all in the final two laps to win Friday night’s NASCAR Trucks race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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On a restart with three of 134 laps remaining in the race, Zane Smith powered into the lead past Kyle Busch to grab the lead.

With one lap remaining, Chandler Smith passed Zane Smith for the lead, only to see Zane Smith quickly move back out front. Chandler Smith quickly did a crossover move to reclaim the lead and held on for his first victory of the 2022 season.

Zane Smith was later DQ'ed for a lug nut infraction.

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The win is the third in 40 career starts for the 19-year-old native of Talking Rock, Ga., who drives the No. 18 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

“The Good Lord, man, he performs miracles all day. He gives me the talent the opportunity to drive this truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports,” Chandler Smith said. “I’m just beyond thankful for this whole opportunity.

“All the glory goes to him, my guys, my wife – everybody that’s supported that deal with me, honestly, every single day. I’m just super-thankful right now.”

Team owner Kyle Busch finished third, Stewart Friesen was fourth and Ryan Preece rounded out the top-five.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, several trucks pit but Busch stayed out and took over the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 67.

John Hunter Nemechek got around Busch on Lap 72 to take the lead just before Jack Wood wrecked off Turn 2 to bring out a caution.

On the restart on Lap 78, Nemechek led the way followed by Chandler Smith, Busch, Friesen and Zane Smith.

Todd Bodine wrecked of Turn 4 on Lap 90 to bring out the sixth caution of the race. The lead-lap trucks all pit with Nemechek the first off pit road. Zane Smith was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.

When the race resumed on Lap 95, Nemechek was followed by Busch, Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes. Chandler Smith got a push from Eckes and grabbed the lead shortly after the restart.

Carson Hocevar spun off Turn 4 and made contact with Reece on Lap 98, which brought out another caution. Chandler Smith led the way on the restart on Lap 103 followed by Eckes, Ben Rhodes and Busch.

On Lap 104, Ty Majeski bounced off the wall and hit his ThorSport teammate, Rhodes, who spun and wrecked, bringing an abrupt end to what had been a strong performance in the race.

The race returned to green on Lap 112 with Chandler Smith out front, followed by Busch, Nemechek and Eckes.

Hocevar was penalized for changing lanes before the start/finish line and the restart and had to serve a pass-through penalty on pit road.

Kris Wright spun off Turn 2 on Lap 119 to bring out the ninth caution of the race. Chandler Smith remained the leader on the restart on Lap 124. He was followed by Busch, Eckes and Nemechek.

Shortly after the race restarted, a multi-truck wreck erupted entering Turn 1 involving Zane Smith, Hailie Deegan, Colby Howard, Chase Purdy and Matt Crafton.

Preece gave Eckes a big shove on the restart and Eckes took the lead for just the second time in the race.

On Lap 126, Eckes tried to block the advance of Busch for the lead but instead Busch got in the back of him, sending Eckes into a spin and wreck.

When the race returned to green with three laps to go, Busch was followed by Zane Smith, Chandler Smith, Nemechek and Preece.

Stage 2

Rhodes grabbed the lead on the restart and held off Busch in a one-lap dash for the Stage 2 win, giving him a sweep of the first two stage victories.

Majeski was third, Nemechek fourth and Tanner Gray rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, several drivers pit but Gray remained on the track and in the lead when the race resumed on Lap 38.

After wild restart that saw the field go four-wide, Hocevar emerged with the lead for the first time in the race.

With 15 laps remaining in the stage, Hocevar continued to fend off challenges from Busch to stay out front. Busch finally got around him and cleared to retake the lead on Lap 46.

On Lap 55, Bodine spun off Turn 4 to bring out a caution. Most of the lead-lap trucks pit but Gray stayed out and inherited the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 60.

Stage 1

Rhodes took the Stage 1 victory under caution when a multi-truck wreck erupted with two laps remaining and the race did not resume.

Chandler Smith was second, Wood third, Gray fourth and Hocevar rounded out the top-five.

Nemechek started on the pole and led the first lap but Busch quickly got around him to take the lead on Lap 2.

On Lap 11, Zane Smith went to the inside of Busch entering Turn 1 and came away with the lead for the first time in the race. Rhodes moved into second and Busch dropped to third.

With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Zane Smith held about a 1-second advantage over Chandler Smith as Busch ran third.

On Lap 22, Blaine Perkins spun on the backstretch to bring out a caution. Most of the lead-lap trucks pit but Chandler Smith stayed out and inherited the lead. Friesen (uncontrolled tire) and Bodine (speeding) both had to restart from the rear of the field.

The race returned to green on Lap 28 with Chandler Smith out front followed by Rhodes and Howard.


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