Chandler Smith locks in a top-10 NASCAR Xfinity finish at Martinsville Speedway
Step One Motorsports Ambassador Chandler Smith continued his jam-packed racing season by returning to Virginia for a second race this season, this time at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. This Speedway is NASCAR-owned and clocks in at just 0.526 miles (0.847 km) long. Additionally, it is known as one of NASCAR’s first-ever paved oval tracks, having been built in 1947. Drivers will undertake 250 laps around the paperclip-shaped track while carrying an average speed of nearly 60 miles per hour (90 kilometers per hour) throughout the three stages.
Smith qualified P11 for Saturday’s race and quickly moved into the top 10 as the race got underway, gaining four spots early on. Despite the Kaulig driver’s claimed lack of front grip, he finished P8 in the first stage, before making a pit stop with the aim of enacting a handling adjustment. Smith forged onward into the second stage without having the drive he was looking for, yet still he held on to the top 10 and finished P9 in the second stage, owing to a late-stage racing line adjustment that yielded more pace. In the third and final stage of the race, Smith’s comment of lacking rear grip returned, and he journeyed into pit road once more for further adjustment to assist his progress. Upon the wave of the checkered flag, the number 16 Chevy driver secured P10, putting on yet another display of consistency and speed in his rookie NASCAR Xfinity series season.
Smith will race next in NASCAR Xfinity in just one week’s time at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama (April 21-22, 2023).