NASCAR Xfinity Series

Chandler Smith joins Sam Hunt Racing for Xfinity debut on 3-race schedule

2 Mins read
Credit: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Chandler Smith, who is currently second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, will begin dabbling in the Xfinity Series on 23 April when he runs the first of three races for Sam Hunt Racing at Talladega Superspeedway. Additional starts will come at Dover Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway on 30 April and 22 October, respectively.

He will drive the #26 Toyota GR Supra with sponsorship from Charge Me. His Truck spotter Chris Lambert also works for SHR, which will give him a familiar voice in his helmet for the three races.

One of the top late model racers, Smith is an ascending prospect in the Toyota camp now in his second full season of Truck competition for Kyle Busch Motorsports. As a rookie in 2021, he won two races and Rookie of the Year honours as he placed eighth in points. Five races into 2022, he has a win at Las Vegas and three more top tens.

“The experience just being able to come up and do a longer race and have more pit stops with a different car instead of a truck is going to be all in all a lot different than what I’m accustomed to,” said Smith. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s big for me to join Sam’s team. SHR is still kind of a smaller team. They are still learning a lot and in their baby years, and I feel like I may have a little bit to bring to the table myself to help them excel and to bring a new aspect to the team. Hopefully I can be an asset and help a little bit with their development and growth. I can’t wait to be a small part of this team’s huge success as it continues to grow.”

Smith finished third in his Talladega Truck début in 2020, followed by a nineteenth a year later. 2020 also saw his lone Truck start at Dover, where he was twentieth, while he has never raced at Homestead.

“Our entire organisation is excited to add Chandler to our roster,” commented SHR’s eponymous owner. “His ability speaks for itself and it will be fun to begin his transition from the truck series into the Xfinity Series here at SHR. These races will serve as a great opportunity for him to learn these cars, how they drive, and how the races flow at this level. Seeing his success in the Truck Series, there’s no reason he can’t be competitive out of the gate with us.”

The SHR #26 has been piloted by a multitude of names in 2022 including Smith’s KBM team-mate John Hunter Nemechek, who is on a three-race schedule as well. Parker Chase, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Derek Griffith, and Ryan Truex have also raced for the team, with Chase and Griffith also being Xfinity newcomers when they made their starts. The car sits fifteenth in owner points with Nemechek holding its best finish of fifth at Phoenix.

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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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