Chandler Smith made the most of his off weekend from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
After starting in the eight position, Smith had to withstand charges from both Stephen Nasse and Matt Craig to claim a victory in the combination event between the CARS Super Late Model Tour and Southern Super Series at Tri-County Motor Speedway.
Surviving several late restarts proved to be frustrating for Smith but he credited the speed of his No. 26 Donnie Wilson Racing Toyota for keeping him up at the front of the field.
“Donnie Wilson is one hell of a team owner and there’s a hell of a crew behind him as well,” Smith said. “Those restarts weren’t the greatest and I wasn’t really sure what was going on in the tower but we made the most of it and came home P1.”
CHANDLER SMITH WINS! pic.twitter.com/iBvI10Z9cS
— Wilson Motorsports (@DWmotorsports2) September 12, 2021
Smith has quickly become acclimated to the abrasive surface of Tri-County during the 2021 season.
He previously visited the facility back in May piloting a Late Model Stock for Justin Johnson Racing and was able to hold off a small but competitive field of cars for the victory that evening.
The experience of racing a Late Model Stock gave Smith confidence in his ability to duplicate that performance in Saturday’s 125-lap Super Late Model feature against the likes of Nasse, Craig and other standouts in the discipline.
Despite qualifying in the eighth position, Smith methodically worked his way through the field before taking control of the race away from Nasse after a competition caution on Lap 42.
That type of performances was exactly what Wilson expected out of Smith when he signed him to his Super Late Model program near the end of the 2020 season.
Although Wilson admitted that Sammy Smith losing an engine on the first lap of the race was a disappointing development, he was more than happy to see the other Smith take home a checkered flag and plans to use the positives and negatives from Saturday to make his team better going forward.
“We obviously want both cars to win because that’s what we’re here for,” Wilson said. “I’m elated we won with [Chandler] but I feel real crappy about [Sammy] and what happened there. We’ll have to go back to the shop and see what happened with the motor.”
Saturday was Smith’s second official victory with Wilson’s organization after previously winning a Southern Super Series race with them at Five Flags Speedway back in July.
Smith is used to the challenges that come with beating many of the best Super Late Model drivers in the country but said that having races decided on restarts is more often aggravating as opposed to exhilarating.
“A lot of people were really hanging back on those restarts and getting an advantage with those running starts,” Smith said. “Second place was really an advantage on restarts and that helped me against Stephen. There’s some room to improve on and make it more fair but other than that, everything was pretty good.”
Smith will now turn his attention back towards the Truck Series as he looks to clinch a spot in the Round of 8 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He also plans to run several more Super Late Model races for Wilson before the year concludes, including the Snowball Derby.
1. Chandler Smith
2. Stephen Nasse
3. Matt Craig
4. Jake Garcia
5. Hunter Robbins
6. Carson Kvapil
7. Jackson Boone
8. Kyle Plott
9. Jake Finch
10. Jett Noland
11. Justin Crider
12. Jeff Batten
13. Kyle Bryant
14. Lee Tissot
15. Daniel Dye
16. Tyler Tanner
17. William Sawalich
18. Dusty Williams
19. Tyler Church
20. Sammy Smith