Chandler Smith earns second-round ticket with Richmond Win

Chandler Smith earned his third win of the 2022 season in Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Richmond Raceway. With the victory, Smith clinched his ticket to the second round of the NASCAR Playoffs. Dominant performance from Smith leading 176 laps (out of 250) en route to victory, showing Kyle Busch Motorsports strength heading into the next round of the Playoffs. Fellow Toyota Tundra drivers John Hunter Nemechek (second), Ty Majeski (third) and Corey Heim (fifth) also finished in the top five.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Richmond Circuit

Race 18 of 23 – 250 laps, 187.5 miles





4th, Grant Finallyger*












*non-Toyota driver


Chandler Smith, No. 18 ChargeMe Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports

Final position: 1st

After becoming a dad for the first time earlier this week, how special is this win?

“God is so good. I’m a dad now. My wife had such an amazing labor and delivery. We have an amazing, beautiful baby boy at home. Honey, this is for you and Jr. this is also for you. Can’t wait to see you both back tonight. The blessings just keep piling up. I have an incredible group behind me at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and an incredible group of partners with ChargeMe, Safelite and everyone. I’m taking this. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but I’m going to keep taking it and give all the glory to the Lord.

Does this race victory mean that the championship will go through this team?

“I leave that to you guys. Just like I said on media day, if the good Lord wants this to be our championship then it will be and if it isn’t then it isn’t. I love the way everything is going right now, that’s for sure.

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Safeway Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports

Final position: 2nd

What did you need to race Chandler Smith for the win tonight?

“We didn’t adjust like we needed to from day to night. Partly on me so I’ll take that one. All in all, a good day for our Safeway Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Thank you to all of our great partners who are on this Tundra TRD and everyone who helps and keeps us going here. Just a great run, I would say. Really good points day. Second, second and second for the three stages. Can’t complain about that, just a short spot. It’s good to be disappointed when you do a course like that with second, second and second. Really good points day, let’s move on to the next round. The only thing that matters is reaching the last four in Phoenix to compete for a championship.

What are you going to do in the two weeks before the Kansas race?

“I’m going to run two races for Sam Hunt Racing in the Toyota GR Supra. I’m excited to go stay in the seat and keep everything sharp and go have fun racing.

TY MAJESKI, No. 66 TSPORT Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing

Final position: 3rd

How was your truck tonight?

“I thought we had a really good truck in qualifying and practice, but that didn’t quite correlate with the race. You just have to improve to be a bit more picky with the balance and learn the transitioning with these race trucks from day to night. Overall really good racing for us today. We had a good points day and we’re right there.

Was it difficult to recover after the incident with your Jackman?

“I saw him stumble and I applied the brakes to avoid hitting him. He did a great job and it was actually his first time tonight and he recovered well and really saved that pit stop. He bounced back and made some really good saves. That’s teamwork, we win and we lose as a team. I tried to encourage him on the radio and told him it was a good recovery. They gave me two great pit stops on those last two.

MAT CRAFTON, No. 88 Ideal Porte/Menards Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing

Final position: 7th

How do you continue this momentum until the next round of the Playoffs?

“Just keep doing what we’re doing. The team did a great job. We were really good in the long run. When we fired we were on the splitter. It took about 10 laps to get it started and once it did it was really good. We bumped the tires there at the end and it improved a bit where it started on that restart. These guys have worked hard and as fast as we have been this year in so many different places to come here and be able to race in the top five in terms of speed. Very, very happy about that and we know we can run in the top five and fight.

CHRISTIAN ECKES, Roof No. 98 CMR Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing

Final position: 8th

What do you need to do to advance to the next round of the Playoffs at this point?

“We just have to undo what we have done in the last two races. We just didn’t perform and we didn’t bring fast trucks and that’s frustrating for sure. Really proud of everyone at ThorSport Racing for fighting hard tonight. We really fought, but we really don’t have much to show. We don’t have much to lose in Kansas now. I know it’s only six points, but I feel like we’re going to have to run ahead and win to get there. Many thanks to CMR Roofing, ThorSport Racing and everyone involved. We’ll pick them up in Kansas.

BEN RHODES, No. 99 Tenda Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing

Final position: 18th

With a difficult evening, you didn’t lose much ground in the points to progress to the next round, but what do you need to fight for a second championship?

“I guess we can run just as badly at Kansas and make it to the next round. We had a terrible evening tonight, but to win a second championship, it was not what we had to do. We need to right the ship and improve. Honestly, I’m a little confused about the issues we’ve been fighting over all night. I had some brake issues in practice. We were trying something new and I didn’t like it from the start, from the first laps. But something else was happening tonight, things I had never really felt in a race car before. We’ll have to go back and diagnose it and make sure it never happens again. All in all, I just have to say thank you to my team. They work hard. Not the night we wanted, but we can still run just as badly. We need to get wins and race better to fight for this championship.


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