Concord, North Carolina - 15-year old Chandler Smith from Talking Point, Georgia will make his highly anticipated 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut with Venturini Motorsports at Fairgrounds Nashville Speedway in the Music City 200 on Saturday, April 7.
One of the most talked about young drivers to enter the ARCA Series in recent years, Smith will make his big tour start this weekend behind the wheel of VMS’ No. 20 Smith General Contracting Toyota Camry.
“This is obviously a big step in my career and exciting time in my life - I’m very appreciative and blessed to be in this situation,” said Smith just days before his first ARCA start. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation than the one I’m in now. I’m really excited. Teaming up with Venturini Motorsports and Toyota is such a huge opportunity – I can’t thank both organizations enough for giving me the shot.”
Making his super late model debut at the age of 12, the now high school sophomore is no stranger to the spotlight. Despite his age, Smith has been regularly making headlines as he successfully makes his rise up through the ranks of stock car racing.
After nearly winning last year at the Snowball Derby, All-American 400 and Winchester 400 the talented teen finally was able to break out earlier this year by capturing his first career super late model victory in the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS at Watermelon Capital Speedway. With a win at SpeedFest and two runner-up finishes at Greenville Pickens and Myrtle Beach, Smith is optimistic about continuing his streak at the next level.
“I’ve been very fortunate early on in my career and I’m hoping to continue my success in ARCA. I know it won’t be easy but I’ve aligned with a great group and know I’ll have the resources to get it done. I came up to Nashville last week and had a really great test with Venturini Motorsports. I learned a lot and felt very comfortable in the ARCA car for my first time. There’s still a lot to learn but I’m confident in my ability and know the team is behind me 100%.
Considering Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville his home track, Smith relishes the chance to make his first ARCA start at the familiar half mile track.
“Nashville is awesome. I love this track. So much history and character – I’ve turned a lot of laps over the last couple of years here at Nashville and know every inch and every bump on the track. I’m hoping my experience here gives me a bit of a rookie advantage come Saturdaynight. Nothing would be more exciting than coming out and giving Venturini Motorsports and Toyota a strong showing,” added Smith.
Smith, recently signed to Toyota Racing’s TD2 program, will make six ARCA starts in 2018 with VMS. In addition to Nashville the well-versed and mature driver will also compete at Salem Speedway (April 22), Toledo Speedway (May 20), Iowa Speedway (July 7), Lucas Oil Raceway (September 7) and Salem Speedway (September 15).
Between 2007-2011 Smith competed nationally in Quarter Midgets. During that time period he won the 2010 QMA Jr. Stock National and Eastern Grands Championship and the USAC Jr. Honda, Jr. Stock and Light Mod National Championship. Smith went on to compete in the INEX Bandoleros from 2012-14. During this time, he was a three time Atlanta Motor Speedway Bandolero Champion, as well as the 2014 Charlotte Motor Speedway Summer Shootout Bandolero Champion.
In 2015, Smith made the jump to Pro Late Model racing, earning his first career win in the PASS Pro Late Model Racing Series at South Carolina’s Anderson Motor Speedway. In 2016-17 Smith continued his development racing late models earning numerous top-5 finishes going up against some of the strongest competition in the country. In addition to a strong showing at last year’s Snowball Derby, Smith made headlines winning a heat race during the inaugural Short Track US Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway.
For more information on Chandler Smith visit www.ChandlerSmithRacing26.comor @CSmithRacing26 on Twitter, @CSmithRacing26 on Instagram and MSC Motorsports of Chandler Smith on Facebook.
-Venturini Motorsports Press Release and Photo