Chandler Smith has had a lot of rough luck during the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, but the rookie contender, who drives the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports snuck himself into the Playoffs.
If Smith is going to go on an unexpected championship charge, he’ll have to rally in the next two races, as a rear hub issue forced Smith to take his truck to the garage after completing 25 laps in Friday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
— NASCAR Camping World Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) August 21, 2021
After 35 laps of repair, Smith returned to the track on lap 60. He sits dead last in 38th, two laps behind Jennifer Jo Cobb, who runs 37th.
Smith entered Friday’s NCWTS Playoff opener tied for the last spot in the Playoff Point rankings with 2,001 points. With him being the first Playoff contender to find trouble, he will be in quite a hole to start the playoffs.
But Smith has had speed all season long. His 165 laps led this year are third in the series, and he ranks behind only John Hunter Nemechek and his team owner Kyle Busch in the statistical category.
If Smith can find some good luck, he could potentially win at Darlington or Bristol to advance to the next round of the Playoffs.