Chandler Smith races to victory in Victoria's Voice 200 Presented by Westgate Resorts
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chandler Smith held off Zane Smith and KBM teammate and team owner Kyle Busch in a three-lap trophy dash for the win in the fifth annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria’s Voice 200 presented by Westgate Resorts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Smith, driving the No. 18 Toyota, crossed the finish line 0.289-of-a-second ahead of Zane Smith (no relation), leading the race four times for a total of 32 laps throughout the evening. Following the race, Zane Smith was disqualified for a lugnut violation. The balance of the Top 10 finishers were Stewart Friesen, Ryan Preece, Tanner Gray, Matt DiBenedetto, Matt Crafton, Bret Holmes, Austin Wayne Self and Ty Majeski.
“Vegas has not been nice to me the three other times I’ve been here so it’s about time I hit the jackpot,” said the 19-year-old Smith. “I’m not old enough to gamble but we got the hardware tonight so that’s the jackpot anyway.
“I knew I had a really good launch [on the last restart]. I knew I was going to end up sticking Kyle three-wide and once I got that big run it was just a matter of timing, the right positioning and the right run and it all played into my hands.”
Reigning series champion John Hunter Nemechek won the pole earlier in the day in his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota with a lap of 30.238 seconds at 178.583 mph. It was his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole in 126 starts and his first in nine races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. KBM team owner and teammate Kyle Busch qualified second at 30.337 seconds and 178.00 mph. Race winner Chandler Smith qualified third at 30.371 seconds and 177.801 mph.
Cool temperatures greeted the 36-truck field when the green flag waved just after 6 p.m. Pacific for the 134-lap race. Busch jumped to the lead early but faded to fourth after the No. 38 Ford of Zane Smith grabbed the lead on Lap 11. Smith maintained a one-second lead by lap 18 and held the top spot until the night’s first caution waved on Lap 22. The race restarted on Lap 26 but didn’t get much past the start/finish line when Smith and the No. 91 Chevrolet of Colby Howard made contact, with the latter bouncing off the outside retaining wall. Stage 1 was completed under caution with Ben Rhodes and the No. 99 Toyota taking the green-and-white checkered flag at the conclusion of Lap 30.
Stage 2 began with Carson Hocevar putting his No. 42 Chevrolet out front early while Busch charged his way back up to second, right off Hocevar’s back bumper. The field stayed green, with tight racing throughout, until Lap 55 when Todd Bodine spun his No. 62 Toyota to slow the field once again. A one-lap dash to finish the stage found Tanner Gray out front on the green flag but Rhodes, who lined up next to Gray for the restart, again taking the green-and-white checkers.
The night’s final stage went green on Lap 67 with Busch going to the lead early. Nemechek went side-by-side for the lead on lap 71 with Nemechek moving to the point. Caution waved on Lap 72 when the No. 24 Chevrolet of rookie Jack Wood smacked the backstraight wall. Nemechek led the field to green on Lap 78, first with Busch in tow and then the No. 18 Toyota of Chandler Smith in tow by Lap 81.
Six cautions slowed the competition throughout the final stage. In the end, it all came down to a three-lap dash to the checkered flag with Chandler Smith, Zane Smith and Busch battling for the win and crossing the finish line in that order.
Three-time series champion Matt Crafton (2013, 2014, 2019) finished eighth in his 500th series start. Two-time champion Bodine (2006, 2010), making his first series start since 2013 in a six-race bid to compete in 800 races in NASCAR’s three national series, spun in Stage 2 and again on Lap 90 before finishing 22nd.
There were 21 lead changes among 10 drivers and 10 cautions for 52 laps.