Chandler Smith is riding a wave of momentum as he gets set to make his first intermediate track start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Smith won his second ARCA Menards Series race of the season last week at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind. after leading 162 of 200 laps. It marked his ninth win in 23 series starts dating back to 2018 and lowered his average finish to 1.3 in three starts in 2020.
"My general rule of thumb in anything I race is – no matter if I am running full-time or part-time – I am going to go out there and give it my best shot," Smith said. "I am out there to win races. At the end of the day, my end goal is always going to be winning a race, whether I’m running for a championship or just in it to get seat time. No matter what in ARCA or Trucks, I am going out there with my JBL Tundra or Camry to try and win some races."
See Also: Kentucky Schedule of Events
Along with his success in ARCA, Smith put together strong performances in his first four Gander Truck starts in 2019, including three consecutive top fives and a runner-up at Bristol Motor Speedway.
On June 26, Smith turned 18 making him eligible to make his first Gander Truck start on a 1.5-mile track in Saturday’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Smith was scheduled to make his first truck start of the season at Richmond Raceway in April but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This opens up running for championships potentialy now and actually being able to run every single race track, that’s big for me," Smith said. "Anything I ever done before was short tracks. This is going to be big for me. I’m really excited for it."
See Also: Kentucky Race Stats and Information
Smith has been watching film with crew chief Danny Stockman and spending time in the simulator to prepare for his first race in the Gander Truck Series on a track larger than 1.25-miles.
"I think the biggest thing for me will be just working around the air, getting used to the air, and racing around people," Smith said. "Most importantly, once I get into clean air, execute and make sure I do good on pit stops. If we have a green flag pit stop, don’t get caught for speeding or anything like that. I am really excited for it though."
On Saturday, Smith will start 10th in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports JBL Toyota after the random draw. He will be looking to give KBM its third consecutive win with the No. 51 following Kyle Busch’s win at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Brandon Jones’ victory at Pocono Raceway.
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Saturday’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 from the Kentucky Speedway starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.