• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Chandler Smith dominates Truck playoff race at Richmond

ByMichael Manny

Aug 14, 2022
Chandler Smith drives at Richmond

Photo courtesy of Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chandler Smith dominated the race from the start of the second stage, leading 176 laps to win the Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation at Richmond Raceway. 

With his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the season, Smith has clinched a spot in the Round of 8. 

And he did it a week after his son, Chandler Jr., was born. 

“The blessings just keep stacking up,” Smith said to Fox Sports’ Regan Smith after the race. “I have an incredible group behind me with KBM, incredible partners with Charge Me, Quick Tie Products, Safelite, everybody. I’m taking this in. I don’t know what I have done to deserve it, but I’m going to soak it in and give all glory to the Lord.” 

ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski ran away with the first stage, but once Smith took the lead on lap 76, he never relinquished it, staying up front for the rest of the race. 

The race was nearly incident-free, with just one caution for cause and three leaders. Only 14 trucks finished on the lead lap. 

With just one race remaining in the round, the playoff standings have been shuffled. ThorSport’s Matt Crafton is now three points above the cutline in eighth place, with Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar falling three points below it.

Majeski started the race on pole and had the fastest car in Stage 1. At times, his lead ballooned to over five seconds. Smith took the lead from Majeski on the opening lap, but that would be the only time he led in the first stage.

The No. 66 Toyota quickly grabbed the lead back from Smith, holding on to it for the next 73 laps to win his third stage of the season. It was the most laps the 27-year-old has led in a single race in his Truck Series career. 

After the end of the stage, Majeski lost a few spots due to a dangerous incident in his pit stall. Majeski’s jackman, Paul Steele, tripped over the pit wall, barely making contact with the No. 66 truck’s grille. 

Despite losing just two spots, Majeski did not lead the rest of the way. 

KBM’s John Hunter Nemechek led the field to green in the Stage 2 restart, but was only able to hold onto the top spot for a single time around. Smith gained the top spot and grew his lead by a wide margin, winning the second stage. 

As the stage went, several drivers, including a few playoff contenders, went a lap down. Defending series champion Ben Rhodes struggled with his No. 99 truck all night, falling a lap down on Lap 132. Seven laps later, Hocevar was put a lap down as well. Rhodes finished two laps down in 18th, while Hocevar took 10th place. 

Smith held onto the lead on the Stage 3 restart and once again increased the gap, but it was not without challenges. Later in the stage, Smith made contact with the back of Layne Riggs in lap traffic, allowing Nemechek to gain some ground. It would not be enough however, as he finished second. 

The race did not see its first and only caution for cause until there were 36 laps to go. Hocevar made contact with Nick Leitz’s No. 33 truck in turn 1. Leitz spun and made contact with the wall, ending his night. 

The first caution for cause gave the field the chance to change tires after nearly the entire race had been run under green up to that point. 

Smith held off Nemechek, Majeski and the rest of the top five on the final restart and led the rest of the way. 

The series will take three weeks off before wrapping up the Round of 10 at Kansas Speedway, Friday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be on Fox Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

NOTE: Post-race inspection is complete. There were no issues, confirming Chandler Smith as the winner (No. 18 had one lug nut not safe and secure).

Race results

Richmond truck results

Points report

Richmond points report