BY KEITH WALTZ
Part of Toyota’s driver development program, 18-year-old Chandler Smith is looking to add to his already impressive racing résumé as he runs the full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule in the No. 18 truck fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Born June 26, 2002, the native of Talking Rock, Georgia, began racing go-karts at age 5 and quickly advanced to quarter midgets. Having no family connection to the sport, Smith’s natural talent carried him to numerous victories and championships and the youngster eventually graduated to Bandolero competition.
According to Smith, he earned 11 national championships during his time racing quarter midgets and Bandoleros.
Smith stepped up to late modal competition at age 12, made his CARS Super Late Model Tour debut in 2016 and recorded his first of nine ARCA Menard Series victories during the 2018 season.
While running a dozen Truck Series races a year ago for KBM, Smith posted an average finish of 7.7 across his final seven starts, including third-place finishes at Phoenix and Talladega.
“Chandler is following the path that other Toyota development drivers have in past seasons where they gain valuable experience driving a limited schedule for a couple of seasons and then graduate to running full time for a championship once they are eligible to do so,” said team owner Kyle Busch. “He showed that he could run up front on the short tracks right out of the gate in his first season (2019) and at the end of last year once he started to understand the aerodynamics of racing on the bigger tracks in the Truck Series, he proved capable of producing top fives no matter where we were racing.”