CONCORD, NC – JULY 25, 2019: The hottest driver on tour Chandler Smith (No.20 Craftsman Toyota) will take the next big step of his young racing career as he’ll make his first ever start on a superspeedway in Friday’s ARCA Menards Series Fort USA 150 at Pocono Raceway.
Smith who’s won four out of his last five races entered has dominated series competition during limited action in 2019. Despite only running eight of the 14 races so far on the season, the 17-year-old Georgia teen has cracked the top-10 in the driver championship point standings and currently sits eight.
Setting the second fastest time behind teammate Christian Eckes at the open Pocono test back in May, Smith is optimistic about his chances.
“We tested in the spring and felt really good about our first time at Pocono,” said Smith. “Honestly nothing really changes. I’m going into this weekend with the same expectations of myself and my team as any other weekend – hopefully we’ll come away with another win.”
Already with six career victories in only 17 series starts, Smith has led an unprecedented 1,421 laps (46%) of all circuits completed since making his series debut with Venturini Motorsports in 2018. Smith will take once again take the reins of the series’ leading owner points Venturini Motorsports Twenty Toyota team.
Continuing to add to his impressive career stats Smith has already led 658 laps on the season and leads the series’ overall Valvoline Lap Leader standings despite only competing in eight of the 14 races the series has held coming into Pocono. He also leads this year’s Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge with 1575 points, 100 more than series competitor Ty Gibbs. The Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge is a championship-within-a-championship offering drivers that cannot compete on the superspeedways due to age restrictions.
Smith will join VMS teammates Michael Self and Christian Eckes prior to the start of Friday’s matinee for a private autograph engagement at 11:15am on the Fan Stage in Fan Fair. Fans interested in attending need to obtain a wristband prior to the start of the 30-minute meet and greet. Details can be found at PoconoRaceway.com.
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is the FORTS USA 150 at Pocono Raceway on Friday, July 26. Practice starts at 9 am ET with General Tire Pole Qualifying set for 1:35 pm ET and the green flag on the FORTS USA 150 set to fly at 4 pm ET. The race will be televised live flag to flag on FS1.