Chandler Smith takes stage win at Nashville Superspeedway
Over the weekend Step One Ambassador and Kaulig Racing driver Chandler Smith touched down in Gladeville, Tennessee to compete at the city’s illustrious Nashville Superspeedway. The series’ inaugural event was held at the concrete tri-oval in 2001, but its on-track action here took a pause from 2011-2021 while the facility was closed, resuming its presence on the calendar at the first available opportunity. This year, the three-stage race was executed around the 1.33-mile (2.15-kilometer) circuit for a total of 188 laps. The track surface is characterized by a banking of 14 degrees and is the longest oval of its kind on the NASCAR calendar. Drivers, Smith included, sought after the highest result possible throughout the entire 250-mile (400-kilometer) race distance.
Having qualified P2, Smith managed to negotiate an opening lap incident, and subsequent caution, unscathed before a second incident saw him drop to P8. By the time the checkered flag fell for Stage 1, he’d recovered to P6.
In the opening phases of Stage 2, Smith made some decisive moves to climb to P3 before another caution. On lap 67, he went three-wide and eventually emerged in the lead. Yet another caution followed, but Smith held is nerve and managed to take victory in Stage 2, becoming a stage winner for the second time in his career.
After a thrilling battle with his teammate in the early laps of Stage 3, Smith made his final stop and settled into P4 (P3 of the runners who had made their final stop). With five laps to go, another caution was called and, following the restart he spun around and was forced to pit for repairs, dropping to P15. The race finished with double overtime and Smith managed to regain three positions to finish P12.
Smith will travel onward with NASCAR Xfinity to compete in less than one week at Chicago Road Course in Chicago, Illinois (1 July 2023).