“Very Confident” – Chandler Smith Had Faith in His Chances of Winning at Bristol

Published 09/18/2021, 1:16 PM EDT
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 28: Chandler Smith, driver of the #18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, waits in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


A couple of days ago, Chandler Smith snatched his maiden Truck Series victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway. In the process, he fended off the likes of Grant Enfinger and his own teammate, John Hunter Nemechek. Speaking after the race, the 19-year-old revealed his thought process for the duration of the event.

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He said, “Very confident. I knew the feeling I needed in these trucks to be able to contend for the win. Maybe even run off with the race and I had that feeling. Just the matter of getting to the front. Track position is key here. It is really hard to pass, and you have to have a really good truck to make up track position.”

Luckily for the rookie, he had a really good truck under him. In addition to that, Chandler Smith turned up the aggression on the restarts. Owing to that, he was able to pick up a handful of spots on the track. It also helped matters that he had plenty of clean air in front of him, even though Bristol is a short track.

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What else did Chandler Smith say?

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He continued, “We were better than the #2 [Sheldon Creed] even when we restarted and I was behind him. He had clean air and I was in his wake. There wasn’t much he could really do, except for slow your exit speed. Just enough that you have your left front fender out and didn’t kill too much speed.”

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 28: Chandler Smith, driver of the #18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

At the end of the day, it was a hard-fought race win, and he was glad that it worked out handsomely. When Smith spoke about Creed and Nemechek, he insisted that anybody else would have done the same thing as he did.

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Now, the drivers will be focused on the 2021 Cup Series Playoffs. The win sees Smith cement his berth, along with Nemechek and a couple of other drivers.

DIVE DEEPER

“Kind of a Cheap Shot” – John Hunter Nemechek Unhappy With Chandler Smith

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Dhruv George

12161 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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