Concord, North Carolina (April 12, 2019) – Rising star Chandler Smith will grab the wheel of his Venturini Motorsports’ No.20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota on Sunday (April 14) when the ARCA Menards Series returns to historic Salem Speedway for the annual spring Kentuckian Ford Dealers ARCA 200.
Winning last year’s fall race at Salem Speedway nearly wire-to-wire, Smith, 16, now takes aim at repeating his dominant performance on the famed southern Indiana high-banked, half-mile.
“We were so close in the spring to our first win, and then we came back and led every lap but one and won the race,” Smith said. “It’s hard to follow that up but we can. Our plan this time is to win the pole and lead every lap.”
Developing a reputation as a short track ace, Smith has impressed onlookers throughout his brief ARCA career. Since making his series debut with VMS last season, the Georgia native has consistently shown speed during each of his 10 ARCA starts.
Already a two-time series winner, Smith has led over 800-laps during his brief time on tour. With seven top-5 finishes supporting his 4.3 average finish, he’s yet to finish outside the top-10.
Out of the gate Smith made his presence known setting a modern era record by starting from the pole in each of his first four series appearances – adding a fifth General Tire pole award last month in his first start of the 2019 season at Pensacola.
“Overall my 2018 season was amazing,” said Smith. “You don’t really see many drivers and teams do that good in the first season together. Especially as a rookie. We had four poles, two wins and never finished outside the top ten. We he a great run at Pensacola to start our short track season. I’m looking forward to this year, and getting back to Salem.”
Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 is set for 11 am ET on Saturday, April 13 with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 3 pm ET that afternoon. The green flag on round three of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season will drop shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, April 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS
With 54 all-time victories, Venturini Motorsports, an official Toyota Racing Development team, has been a permanent fixture in the ARCA Menards Series since 1983 and is considered one of the early pioneers in NASCAR driver development programs.
Since Joey Logano, last year’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion, raced for the team in 2007, VMS has gone onto assist many of the sports’ top driver prospects in pursuit of making it to the highest levels of stock car racing.
The growing list of drivers racing today in one of NASCAR’s top-three touring series include current Toyota drivers Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton, Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Brandon Jones, Todd Gilliland, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed and Natalie Decker. VMS Alumni also include Joey Logano, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Matt Tifft, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Justin Haley.