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Snowball Derby

The Reason Chandler Smith was DQd after Snowball Derby Qualifying

The Truck Series contender will have to start the last chance race from the rear.

Jacob Seelman

Chandler Smith had his time disallowed after time trials and will start the Snowball Derby last chance race at the rear of the field.

Smith was the first driver to take his timed laps and was the first to enter the impound area as a result.

While there, and the exact details are debated, Smith was provided access to his cell phone to check a digital timing and scoring application. While looking at the phone or while it was somewhere on his person, chief technical director Ricky Brooks said he was in violation of the rules and disallowed his time on the spot.

Brooks offered the following explanation for why he disqualified Smith.

“What happened was, all that took place, he was standing there talking to his crew, and he slid his phone down his fire suit,” Brooks said. “I pulled it out of his fire suit.”

Brooks says the rule is in writing and he’s preached its interpretation for two days.

“The rule says (the phone) can’t be in the car, or in impound, or anything,” Brooks said.

While there are other versions of the rule book floating around, and available on the track’s website, the following version of the rule is the exact language given to teams at the track this week:

“DRIVERS MUST STAY WITH CAR UNTIL QUALIFYING IS OVER INCASE HE/SHE GETS BUMPED TO THE LAST CHANCE RACE. ONLY 1 CREW MEMBER MAY CHECK PRESSURES, STAGGER (no jacks) AND REMOVE TAPE ONLY. NO CELLPHONES, SMART WATCHES OR BLUETOOTH DEVICES ALLOWED IN CARS AT ANYTIME OR THE IMPOUND OR YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.”

Brooks said the rule is written that way as a means to prevent traction control devices from being activated.

“I just don’t want it anywhere near the car,” Brooks said. “Smart phones, smart watches, bluetooth devices, any kind of smart thing can control traction control and I don’t want it anywhere near the race car.”

Even if Smith had not been disqualified, his time was only 37th quick in a session that only locked in 30 drivers. In other words, he would have been in the last chance race regardless. However, due to the disqualification, he will start the last chance race in 21st instead of seventh.

That last chance race is stacked and includes NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, Noah Gragson and with two-time Snowball Derby winner Augie Grill on the pole.

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mike

    December 5, 2020 at 12:29 am

    How many cars are they taking from last chance and what criteria for a provisional? I read somewhere that Bubba and a couple others were guaranteed a spot?

  2. Henk Gaalswyk

    December 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    We do the Srl In California Ricky has run that too every meeting he explains that rule so not sure why the complanig it is the rule

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