Chandler Smith moving up to Xfinity in 2023 with Kaulig Racing

NASCAR Truck Series title contender Chandler Smith will move up to the Xfinity Series next season with Kaulig Racing.

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Smith, 20, who has been a part of Toyota’s driver development program for several years, has agreed to a multi-year deal and will drive Kaulig’s No. 16 Chevrolet fulltime in 2023.

Smith will replace A.J. Allmendinger, who announced Wednesday will return to fulltime competition in the Cup Series next year with Kaulig.

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“I’m really excited to have an opportunity like this for my rookie year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” said Smith. “Kaulig Racing has grown from a small team to a multi-series, powerhouse team in just a few short years.

“I’m honored to take over the No. 16 car that has had so much success these last couple of years.”

Currently in his second, fulltime season in Trucks with Kyle Busch Motorsports, Smith has five wins, won one pole, and has 22 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes. He is currently second in the series playoff standings.

“Chandler Smith is a kid who we see a ton of potential in at Kaulig Racing,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “We take pride in giving kids like Chandler an opportunity to compete for wins and be a steppingstone in their career.

“It’s been exciting to see what Chandler has done in the Truck series over two seasons, and we think competing for Kaulig Racing is the perfect next step for both Chandler and our team.”

Since the team’s inception in 2016, Kaulig has recorded 18 wins, 95 top-five and 214 top-10 finishes.

“Getting to know Chandler has been great, and we are excited to bring more young, talented drivers to Kaulig Racing to help build our program,” said team owner, Matt Kaulig.

Sponsors for Smith’s No. 16 team will be announced at a later date.

Since owner Kyle Busch’s decision to join Richard Childress Racing next season, his KBM Truck team has yet to announce any drivers for the 2023 season. The organization will field Chevrolets for the first time since its inception.

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