Chandler Smith’s strong showing cut short by multi-car accident
Chandler Smith, Step One Motorsports ambassador, stepped into a race weekend at a raceway that has been a part of the series’ calendar since its inaugural season in 1982. Known as Darlington Raceway and located in Darlington, South Carolina, drivers competed on the asphalt oval with four turns carrying speeds that averaged around 100 miles per hour (160.934 kilometers per hour). With a total race distance of 200.802 miles (323.159 kilometers), competitors had to remain laser-focused as they navigated the three-stage race with the goal of crossing the line at the front of the field come the end of lap 147, which was the final time they’d travel around the east coast track on Saturday afternoon.
The Kaulig Racing driver started Saturday’s race in P6 after his efforts in Friday’s qualifying session, getting a clean start at the wave of the green flag. Despite contact from another driver, Smith remained composed throughout the first stage and into the second. The start of the second stage saw more than one caution due to incidents throughout the field, none of which involving his no. 16 Chevy until 25 laps remained in the stage. A multi-car pile-up ahead swept Smith into its wake and prematurely ended his time on track. Smith was checked and subsequently released from the infield care center.
Smith’s NASCAR Xfinity season advances to Concord, North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway (26-27 May 2023), but keep an eye out for Smith the week prior as he is set to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina at North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 21, 2023.