Chandler Smith Advances in NASCAR Truck Series Playoffs With Win at Richmond

·3 min read
Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images
  • Chandler Smith led 176 of the 250 laps in beating Toyota Tundra drivers John Hunter Nemechek and pole-winner Ty Majeski in a 1-2-3 sweep for Toyota.

  • Toyota drivers combined to lead all 250 laps around the .75-mile, D-shaped Richmond track.

  • The victory automatically advances Smith into Round 2 of the CWTS Playoffs, which continues Sept. 9 at Kansas Speedway.

Chandler Smith led an overpowering 1-2-3 podium sweep for Toyota at Saturday night’s Worldwide Express Camping World Truck Series 250 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The victory automatically advances Smith into Round 2 of the CWTS Playoffs, which continues Sept. 9 at Kansas Speedway.

Driving a Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, the first-time new father (a boy earlier this week) led 176 of the 250 laps in beating Tundra drivers John Hunter Nemechek and pole-winner Ty Majeski. Chevy driver Grand Enfinger was fourth and Toyota driver Corey Heim fifth. The rest of the top-10: Taylor Gray, Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, Zane Smith, and Carson Hocevar.

Toyota drivers combined to lead all 250 laps around the .75-mile, D-shaped track. Chandler Smith led twice for 176 laps, including the final 175. Majeski led the first 73 laps from the pole and Nemechek led once for one lap. Majeski led after Stage 1 and Chandler Smith after Stage 2 en route to a 2.80 margin of victory.

The victory was Chandler Smith’s third this season, after Las Vegas and Pocono. All told, the Georgia native has three victories, eight top-5 finishes, and 12 top-10s in 18 starts. Almost unbelievably, he’s completed all but one of the season’s 2,470 possible laps. He won at Bristol and Phoenix last year, his first full season in the Truck Series.

Photo credit: Sean Gardner - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sean Gardner - Getty Images

Double Duty for Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson won the pole for Sunday afternoon’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond, but didn’t hang around very long to celebrate. The defending Cup Series champion was the last driver in the qualifying line, making his rush-rush afternoon even more hurried.

He won the pole – bumping Ross Chastain, who had been first to go out and waited nervously for more than half-an-hour – did a two-question presser in the media center, then dashed to the nearby Richmond Airport to fly to Knoxville, Iowa for Saturday night’s $50,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals Sprint Car race.

Larson, winner of last year’s Knoxville Nationals, stayed near the front for most of the 50-lapper that featured 24 cars. He started sixth, quickly reached the top-5, lost track position with a flat right-rear in the early laps, then rallied back to finish sixth. Donny Schatz in a Tony Stewart-owned entry won his 11th Knoxville Nationals ahead of David Gravel, Logan Schuchart, Tyler Courtney, and Jacob Allen.

As for Richmond… Larson and Chastain will share Row 1 for today’s 400-lap, 300-mile Cup Series race. Denny Hamlin and William Byron will be on Row 2, then Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Cole Custer, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top 10 starters.

Among the surprises: Joey Logano will start 17th, points leader and four-time ’22 winner Chase Elliott will start 23rd, and Kyle Busch will start 29th. That’s among Busch’s worst qualifying efforts of the season at a track where he has six victories and 18 top-5 finishes in 33 career starts.

Logistics Partnership Confirmed

NASCAR has confirmed a multi-year partnership with Worldwide Express, naming it the “Official Logistics Partner of NASCAR.” The relationship began with Saturday night’s Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond.

Worldwide Express and its sister brands GlobalTranz and Unishippers moved into NASCAR’s “official partner” status after starting the season as sponsor for Trackhouse Racing. In addition to its official partnership status, Worldwide Express has also been designated the “Official Logistics Partner of Richmond Raceway.”