Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Chandler Smith Shows Veteran-Like Prowess to Defeat Kyle Busch, Zane Smith for Las Vegas Victory

PC: Kyle Busch Motorsports | Twitter

Chandler Smith didn’t just beat his boss, Kyle Busch, he schooled him…

The 19-year-old showed incredible speed throughout the race’s entire 134 laps, leading four different times for a total of 32 laps, a race-high. However, many, including Smith, knew he’d have to beat the series’ all-time wins leader, Kyle Busch.

On the race’s final restart – in a very Kyle Busch-esque move — Smith split the No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, moving to the outside in turns one and two, leaving the two-time Cup champion without any assistance.

The Talking Rock, Georgia-native was then able to chase down Daytona winner Zane Smith, making the final pass for the lead with just a pair of laps remaining, pulling to his third victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

After having back-to-back victories in his sights, Zane Smith seemingly finished in the runner-up position, but in post-race inspection, Smith’s No. 38 Ford F-150 was found to have illegal lug nuts. NASCAR disqualified Zane Smith for the infraction.

Inspection Complete: Chandler Smith Wins at Vegas, Runner-Up Zane Smith DQ’ed for Lug Nut Issue

Smith’s DQ elevated Kyle Busch to second while Stewart Friesen, Ryan Preece and Tanner Gray rounded out the top-five.

Matt DiBenedetto, Matt Crafton, Bret Holmes, Austin Wayne Self and Ty Majeski rounded out the top-10.

The event featured lots of intense racing, especially on restarts, when trucks would fan out three and four-wide on the backstretch, which sometimes – as one would expect — led to multiple accidents.

After winning the race’s first two stages, defending series champion Ben Rhodes was hooked by teammate Ty Majeski exiting turn four, sending the No. 99 Toyota Tundra into the outside wall with significant force.

In his return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Todd Bodine brought his No. 62 Camping World Toyota Tundra home on the lead-lap in 22nd, after a pair of spins trapped him laps down on multiple occasions.

Officially, the race ended under caution, after Grant Enfinger and John Hunter Nemechek had flat tires, resulting in contact from Derek Kraus – who made an absolutely incredible save.

Jordan Anderson, Spencer Boyd, John Hunter Nemechek, and Grant Enfinger were all involved in the final lap accident. Boyd, among those involved, mentioned a possible injury to his arm on the radio, later confirming to Bob Pockrass his arm was indeed not broken.

Exiting Las Vegas, Chandler Smith holds a five-point lead over Tanner Gray in the series’ regular-season point standings, with Ty Majeski, Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen rounding out the top-five.

Zane Smith, who is virtually locked into the Playoffs by virtue of his win in Daytona, dropped from second in the standings to 12th after his disqualification on Friday night.

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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