Concord, North Carolina (September 12, 2018) – During his first ever start at Salem Speedway back in April, sixteen-year-old standout Chandler Smith won his second of four consecutive pole awards and led 117-laps on the day only to come up short after blowing a right front tire on the final lap battling teammate Christian Eckes for the win.
Smith, a native of Talking Rock, Georgia, will get another chance to tame the Southern Indiana’s half-mile bullring when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to Salem on Saturday night for the 104th running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200.
“I’ve been waiting for what seems an eternity to get back to Salem,” says Smith. “The last time out we had a rocket ship and led a ton of laps. We had a great battle going with Eckes at the end and I feel we would’ve won, but when I got to his inside going into turn two the tire let go. I took a hard hit. But the most difficult part of it all was being unable to make the pass and pull away. I felt like we had the best car – I’ll be ready to Saturday. I want this one.”
Enjoying a breakout rookie season, the driver of the No.20 Craftsman Toyota has made the most out of his seven ARCA Series starts. Picking up his first career win in June at Madison International Speedway, Smith set a new series record winning four consecutive pole positions to start his ARCA career. Despite racing part-time, the high school Junior leads all series drivers with 564-laps led on the season.
During Smith’s seven series starts he’s recorded 4 top-5’s and seven top-10’s. His 2.9 average starting position and fifth place finishing average is also top among all series drivers.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing from Salem Speedway is slated to go green Saturday, September 15 at 7:15pm. MAVTV will carry live broadcast coverage starting at 7:00pm. Spectator gates open on Saturday at 11:15 a.m., with practice getting underway at 12-noon. Qualifying is set for 3:00pm. All times Eastern Standard Time.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Over the last 35-years Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in professional motorsports. Known for long-time dominance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Venturini Motorsports is held in high regard as one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the county. Since 2007, VMS has specialized in the career development of some of today’s top racing talent including current NASCAR “Stars” – Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Darryl ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhoads, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, Matt Tifft, Brennan Poole, Dalton Sargeant, Justin Haley and Todd Gilliland. Integrity, dedication and continuous innovation paired with years of on-track success has helped define Venturini Motorsports as one of the longest tenured teams in all of modern day racing. In 2012, the Venturini racing family was recognized for their collective achievements and inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame – now finding themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Chip Ganassi, Andy Granatelli, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.