Chandler Smith’s Last-Lap Bet Pays Off With A Truck Series Win At Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 04: Chandler Smith, driver of the #18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria's Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Chandler Smith pulled off a big crossover pass on the final lap of the NextEra Energy 250 to score the Las Vegas win Friday night. The 19-year-old battled Zane Smith and Kyle Busch as the laps rolled down, and it took until the final lap for 18 Toyota to get clear and give him his third Truck Series win. 

“I’m just beyond thankful for this whole opportunity,” the 19 year old said, after stepping out of the truck. “It’s the good Lord man, he performs miracles all day. He’s given me this talent, this opportunity to drive this truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports.”

The final 11 laps were chaotic with five different leaders and included a caution when Christian Eckes was sent into the wall after being tagged by Busch with eight to go. On the final restart Busch put up a fight, leading and blocking hard with two laps to go. The two Smiths, though, of no relation, broke away. Chandler got the momentum and made the winning pass down the backstretch. 

Zane overcame a crash and a speeding penalty earlier in the day to compete for the win. “I had a lot of fun right there,” he said. “That was some hard, good racing. I can’t believe I’m up here with all that damage. Just wait until this thing is clean.” 

Unfortunately for Zane his truck was disqualified following post-race inspection when it was found to not conform to NASCAR rule book specifications per the following rules: 14.16.1 – 1-4 Lug Nuts. That moved Busch up into second.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 04: Christian Eckes, driver of the #98 Curb Records Toyota, pits a damaged truck after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Behind Busch in the final running order, Stewart Friesen, Ryan Preece and Tyler Gray rounded out the top five. Matt DiBenedetto, who was the highest-scoring Chevrolet was sixth, with Matt Crafton, Brett Holmes, Austin Wayne Self and Ty Majeski completing the top ten after Zane Smith’s disqualification.

Two time series champion Todd Bodine, who last raced in 2013 finished 22nd in his 795th national series start. The veteran driver was encouraged by Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis to shoot for 800 total starts throughout NASCAR’s top-three divisions to join only 26 drivers who’ve ever done so. His night included a spin, and two pit road speeding penalties, a penalty for his crew for being over the wall too soon and surviving a pair of on-track incidents to finish on the lead lap.

The Camping World Truck Series returns to action March 19 in the Fr8Auctions 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Photos: NASCAR at Las Vegas Motors Speedway Fri. Mar. 4, 2022


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race Results Victoria’s Voice 200 presented by Westgate Resorts

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, March 4, 2022

  1. (3)  Chandler Smith, Toyota, 134.
  2. (2)  Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 134.
  3. (17)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 134.
  4. (5)  Ryan Preece(i), Ford, 134.
  5. (8)  Tanner Gray, Ford, 134.
  6. (15)  Matt Dibenedetto, Chevrolet, 134.
  7. (7)  Matt Crafton, Toyota, 134.
  8. (32)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 134.
  9. (18)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 134.
  10. (10)  Ty Majeski, Toyota, 134.
  11. (29)  Dean Thompson #, Chevrolet, 134.
  12. (21)  Tate Fogleman, Toyota, 134.
  13. (12)  Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, 134.
  14. (19)  Chase Purdy, Toyota, 134.
  15. (27)  Matt Mills(i), Chevrolet, 134.
  16. (14)  Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 134.
  17. (16)  Kris Wright, Chevrolet, 134.
  18. (28)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, 134.
  19. (26)  Lawless Alan #, Chevrolet, 134.
  20. (36)  Loris Hezemans, Toyota, 134.
  21. (23)  Todd Bodine, Toyota, 134.
  22. (33)  Matt Jaskol, Toyota, 134.
  23. (11)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 134.
  24. (13)  Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 134.
  25. (1)  John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 134.
  26. (34)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Accident, 133.
  27. (35)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, Accident, 132.
  28. (9)  Christian Eckes, Toyota, Accident, 126.
  29. (31)  Thad Moffitt, Chevrolet, 114.
  30. (25)  Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, Engine, 113.
  31. (4)  Ben Rhodes, Toyota, Accident, 103.
  32. (24)  Jack Wood #, Chevrolet, Accident, 71.
  33. (20)  Hailie Deegan, Ford, Accident, 44.
  34. (22)  Colby Howard, Chevrolet, Accident, 28.
  35. (30)  Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, DVP, 21.
  36. (6)  Zane Smith, Ford, 134.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  93.223 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 9 Mins, 22 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.289 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  10 for 52 laps.

Lead Changes:  21 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   J. Nemechek 1;K. Busch(i) 2-10;Z. Smith 11-24;C. Smith 25-27;B. Rhodes 28-32;T. Gray 33-36;C. Hocevar 37-45;K. Busch(i) 46-55;T. Gray 56-58;B. Rhodes 59-62;K. Busch(i) 63-71;J. Nemechek 72-91;T. Hill 92;J. Nemechek 93-94;C. Smith 95-101;C. Eckes 102;C. Smith 103-122;C. Eckes 123-125;R. Preece(i) 126-128;K. Busch(i) 129-131;Z. Smith 132;C. Smith 133-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Chandler Smith 4 times for 32 laps; Kyle Busch(i) 4 times for 31 laps; John Hunter Nemechek 3 times for 23 laps; Zane Smith 2 times for 15 laps; Carson Hocevar 1 time for 9 laps; Ben Rhodes 2 times for 9 laps; Tanner Gray 2 times for 7 laps; Christian Eckes 2 times for 4 laps; Ryan Preece(i) 1 time for 3 laps; Timmy Hill 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 99,18,15,24,42,88,51,4,66,17

Stage #2 Top Ten: 99,51,66,4,15,18,88,98,52,19

Owen Johnson