Chandler Smith dominates at Richmond

credit: Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs  

When the green flag was thrown to begin the Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation NASCAR Camping World Truck Series it was ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski, a driver making his Richmond Raceway track debut, who led the field from the pole position. It was Majeski’s third pole in 38 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, as well as his third pole and 14th Top 10 start in 2022.

Majeski made the most of his starting spot by dominating the First Stage, for his third stage win. He lost a couple of spots on pit road at the stage caution when his jackman slipped and fell in front of the No. 66 car, immediately got up, shook it off and finished the pit stop. Chandler Smith, who also started on the front row and led one lap in the early stages of the race, took over the lead.

The current Truck Series champion, Ben Rhodes, spent a majority of Stage One racing sandwiched in between Taylor Gray and Taylor's older brother, David Gilliland Racing teammate Tanner Gray. By Stage Two, Rhodes lost his momentum, complaining about brake shake. With 28 to go, 17-year-old Taylor Gray ran the fastest lap, passing both Rhodes and Taylor's older brother. In the closing laps of Stage Two Rhodes went one lap down. Chandler Smith set sail and won Stage Two.

Rhodes’ brake issues continued to plague the No. 99 car as the final stage got underway. Meanwhile, John Hunter Nemechek and Grant Enfinger, the winner of the first Playoff race two weeks ago at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, battled up front all race long for second and third. Majeski finally passed Enfinger for third place a quarter of the way into the final stage.

Matt Crafton, one of the drivers on the outside looking in, ran in the Top 10 for most of the race. Crafton is not only the only driver in series history to participate in each of the series’ Playoffs since it began in 2016, but he has also made Round of 8 in all six previous postseasons.

After a close call with the lapped car of Laine Riggs, Nemechek made up some ground on Chandler Smith, but was able to hold onto the lead. With 36 laps to go Carson Hocevar brought out the race’s only non-stage-break caution when he ran into the No. 33 car of Nick Leitz.

In the closing laps, no one had anything for Chandler Smith. He crossed the finish line 2.790 seconds ahead of Nemechek to win the 3rd Annual Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation. Ty Majeski finished third.

The win is Smith's fifth in 56 Camping World Truck Series races, as well as his third victory and 12th Top 10 finish in 2022. Chandler now leads the point standings by two over Zane Smith.

credit: Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs

Chandler Smith dominates at Richmond Chandler Smith dominates at Richmond Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Sunday, August 14, 2022 Rating: 5