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Kyle Busch Motorsports inks deal with Chandler Smith

Kyle Busch Motorsports has found a taker for its Super Late Model program.

Conversely, Toyota Racing Development has found the next challenge for one of its hottest young commodities.

Enter Chandler Smith.

After winning the Snowball Derby with Noah Gragson in December, Kyle Busch Motorsports wasn’t sure if it would compete in Super Late Models in 2019. Gragson had departed for Chevrolet and JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, while Raphael Lessard graduated to just a part-time Truck Series deal with KBM.

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The team was shuttered for the time being unless a funded driver came along.

In acquiring the services of Smith, who recently placed their in-house Super Late Models for sale, the KBM house car No. 51 will compete in the Winchester 400 Oct. 13 at Winchester Speedway, the All-American 400 Nov. 3 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., and the Snowball Derby Dec. 2 at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

That’s in addition to a four-race NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series deal.

“At KBM, we love having representation at the marquee Super Late Model events and at one point we weren’t sure if that was going to happen this year, so we’re excited to be adding three of the biggest SLM races in the country to Chandler’s schedule. We feel that he gives us a great shot to add some more big wins to our resume, including the opportunity to bring home our third consecutive Snowball Derby victory.”

Busch himself won his second Tom Dawson Memorial trophy in 2017 with Gragson following in December.

The 2015 Monster Energy Cup Series champion compared Smith to Erik Jones, who famously outdueled Busch to win the 2012 Snowball Derby.

“He races with a veteran presence and has gone toe-to-toe with some of the best Super Late Model drivers in the country,” Busch said. “He races hard and runs up front, and races the other competitors with respect and takes care of his equipment. We’re anxious to see him in one of our Tundras this season and feel he will gradually improve each time out. Even with such a limited schedule, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get to victory lane similar to Erik Jones in his first season for us.”

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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