RICHMOND, Va. — Chandler Smith took the lead during pit stops at the end of Stage 1 and never surrendered it, leading 176 of 250 laps to cruise to a win in the Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond Raceway. It’s his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season.
“It’s surreal. It seems just like so many good things keep happening,” said Smith, who recently welcomed his first child. “It’s all from the good Lord’s doing. I’m just going to be faithful and give all the glory to him.”
After qualifiying his truck in second earlier Saturday afternoon, Smith finished Stage 1 in third behind Ty Majeski and teammate John Hunter Nemechek. Majeski lost two spots on pit road after his jackman fell down and Smith took the lead.
Smith won a completely green Stage 2 with ease and started to pull away in the final stage. On Lap 216, Carson Hocevar and Nick Leitz crashed to cause the only incident caution of the night. The race restarted with 28 laps to go and Smith re-assumed his lead to win his fifth career Truck Series race.
“I wasn’t concerned because I was saving a little,” Smith said. “I would fire off on restarts, build a gap, get a really big gap so when I got in lapped traffic, I didn’t have to push issues.
“[Nemechek] was able to catch up, but before then, I just started saving tires, just being easy on my equipment just in case something like [lapped traffic] happened and he caught me, I was able to fire off, go and build a gap.”
Nemechek finished second to record his third consecutive top 10. He has 13 top 10 finishes this season but just one victory, which came at Darlington in May.
“I felt like I had saved my stuff a bit better than him on that long run [in Stage 3],” Nemechek told FS1. “Seemed like [Smith] was struggling a bit in lapped traffic and I thought I was going to have a chance.
“Overall, solid night. Solid points night. Big picture racing.”
Majeski could never recover from his slow stop at the end of Stage 1 and finished third. Although he hoped to win his first race after scoring the pole, Majeski recorded his best finish since Nashville and inched closer to a berth in the Round of 8.
STAGE 1: Ty Majeski, John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum, Matt Crafton, Layne Riggs, Christian Eckes, Corey Heim
STAGE 2: Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, Ty Majesko, Taylor Gray, Corey Heim, Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton, Zane Smith, Tyler Ankrum
FINAL: Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, Corey Heim, Taylor Gray, Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, Zane Smith, Carson Hocevar
- Chandler Smith | WIN
- Grant Enfinger | WIN
- Zane Smith | +46
- John Hunter Nemechek | +43
- Ty Majeski | +36
- Stewart Friesen | +31
- Ben Rhodes | +21
- Matt Crafton | +3
- Carson Hocevar | -3
- Christian Eckes | -6
The Truck Series goes on a 27-day hiatus before traveling to Kansas Speedway on Friday, September 9. The race will conclude the Round of 10 and is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Zane Smith won the spring race.