NASCAR Truck Series

Chandler Smith wins Vegas with last-lap pass

3 Mins read
Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

From 2011 to 2013, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was dubbed the Smith’s 350 as part of Smith’s Food & Drug Store’s sponsorship that had taken place since 2006. While it is now known as the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200, Friday’s race still ended with a battle of the Smiths as Chandler Smith chased down Zane Smith and overtook him on the final lap to win. A Smith 1–2 finish was subsequently denied when Zane was disqualified for lug nut violations.

Kyle Busch Motorsports entries swept the podium in qualifying with John Hunter Nemechek leading boss Kyle Busch and Chandler Smith. Busch, a Cup Series driver making his first of five annual allowed Truck starts and an obvious favourite regardless of race he runs, led early before the Smiths passed him. The stage ended under caution when a five-abreast situation on the frontstretch ended with Zane clipping Colby Howard and shooting him into Matt Crafton, spinning him up the track into Chase Purdy and Hailie Deegan. Ben Rhodes led at the time of the crash and won the stage ahead of Chandler, Tanner Gray, Jack Wood, Carson Hocevar, Crafton, Busch, Nemechek, Ty Majeski, and Ryan Preece.

Two-time Truck champion Todd Bodine, who was making his first series start since 2013, was responsible for the lone caution of Stage #2 when he spun on lap 56 to set up a two-lap run to the finish. Although Carson Hocevar and Busch led much of the segment’s laps, Rhodes came out on top again with Busch, Majeski, Nemechek, Gray, Chandler, Crafton, Christian Eckes, Stewart Friesen, and Derek Kraus in tow.

Perhaps as expected from the Truck Series in recent times, the final stage exploded in chaos as six cautions for wrecks occurred beginning with Wood spinning while racing Chase Purdy on lap 73. Bodine hit the wall and suffered damage on lap 91, though he was able to continue racing. Hocevar’s night ended as the race reached 100 circuits following a spin through the frontstretch grass. Rhodes, despite winning the first two stages, was knocked on lap 105 out after being sandwiched between former ThorSport Racing team-mate Grant Enfinger and current colleague Majeski, causing him to go around into the outside wall. Kris Wright spun on lap 120. The final yellow flag waved with eight laps remaining for Eckes being turned into the wall while trying to block Busch. Amid the wrecking, Nemechek, Busch, and Chandler Smith led the bulk of the laps.

Eckes’ accident resulted in the green flag waving with three laps remaining. Zane Smith led the first two laps as Chandler gave chase. Chandler found a run on the backstretch and cleared his surname brethren for the lead in turn three and pulled away to win his third career race.

The final restart saw Chandler cut across Busch as retaliation for his employer doing the same at the previous green flag. He told FOX Sports, “I was like, ‘Alright Kyle, I see how it’s going to be, we’re not going to help each other.’ So I kept that in the back of my head. We were in contention there at the very end and I stuck it three-wide and was able to clear Kyle and get around Zane. It was all being in the right places at the right times.”

Although Zane would have had a dream start to his Front Row Motorsports tenure after winning the season opener at Daytona two weeks prior followed by a runner-up finish, this went up in flames when he failed post-race inspection for a lug nut infraction. In particular, his lug shape did not conform to part I-4 as outlined in Section 14.16.1 of the NASCAR Rulebook. Besides being the first disqualification of 2022, he was ironically the first disqualified Truck driver since Chandler at Watkins Glen last season. Zane is also the sixth Truck disqualification since NASCAR implemented the hard rule in 2019.

In indirect response to the news, Zane retweeted a post from SiriusXM NASCAR radio host and Motor Racing Network announcer Dave Moody that remarked, “If I had the ability to eliminate one thing from our world, I would eliminate Vladimir Putin. Lug nuts would be a close second.”

Race results

1318Chandler SmithKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota134Running
2251Kyle Busch*Kyle Busch MotorsportsToyota134Running
31752Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota134Running
4517Ryan Preece*David Gilliland RacingFord134Running
5815Tanner GrayDavid Gilliland RacingFord134Running
61525Matt DiBenedettoRackley WARChevrolet134Running
7788Matt CraftonThorSport RacingToyota134Running
83232Bret HolmesBret Holmes RacingChevrolet134Running
91822Austin Wayne SelfAM RacingChevrolet134Running
101066Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingToyota134Running
112940Dean ThompsonNiece MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
122130Tate FoglemanOn Point MotorsportsToyota134Running
131242Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
141961Chase PurdyHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota134Running
152720Matt Mills*Young’s MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
161416Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota134Running
171644Kris WrightNiece MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
182856Timmy HillHill MotorsportsToyota134Running
192645Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
203633Loris HezemansReaume Brothers RacingToyota134Running
212362Todd BodineHalmar Friesen RacingToyota134Running
223346Matt JaskolG2G RacingToyota134Running
231123Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet134Running
241319Derek KrausMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet134Running
2514John Hunter NemechekKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota134Running
26343Jordan AndersonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet133Accident
273512Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet132Accident
28998Christian EckesThorSport RacingToyota126Accident
293143Thad MoffittReaume Brothers Racing with GMS RacingChevrolet114Running
302502Kaz GralaYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet113Engine
31499Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota103Accident
322424Jack WoodGMS RacingChevrolet71Accident
33201Hailie DeeganDavid Gilliland RacingFord44Accident
342291Colby HowardMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet28Accident
35309Blaine PerkinsCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet21DVP
36638Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord134Running (DSQ)
DNQ47Matt JaskolG2G RacingToyota
Underscore – Jaskol replaced Brennan Poole in the #46 after failing to qualify in the #47
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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About author
Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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