NDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Chandler Smith may have “lucked” into his win last year at Lucas Oil Raceway Park, but there were no reservations about the way he made it back-to-back.
The recently turned 18-year-old from Talking Rock, Georgia, drove away from the field en route to his ninth win in 23 career ARCA Menards Series starts with a completely dominating performance in Friday night’s Calypso Lemonade 200.
Smith took the checkered flag at Lucas Oil last fall in a weather-shortened race, in which he led the final seven laps before the rains came on Lap 167 of 200.
After finishing second to Gibbs last week at Pocono Raceway, Smith — who won the General Tire Pole Award earlier in the day — retook the lead in the No. 20 JBL Audio Toyota from Gibbs on Lap 39 and never relinquished it.
Sam Mayer closed on his back bumper with under 10 laps remaining, but after they cleared the car of seventh-place Bret Holmes, Smith was able to stretch the lead back out again and win by .899 seconds on the .686-mile oval.
The race also served as the second of the Sioux Chief Showdown, both having been won by Smith. He took the opener at Phoenix Raceway in March.
Mayer settled for second, followed by Hailie Deegan.
Taylor Gray, 15, finished fourth in his ARCA Menards Series debut, and Thad Moffitt was fifth.
Max McLaughlin was sixth, the last car on the lead lap, followed by Holmes. Championship points leader Michael Self finished seventh. He had to pit late in the race for a flat tire after giving up third to Deegan, and lost two laps. Howie DiSavino III and Kyle Sieg rounded out the top 10.
Self maintained his points lead of 12 over Hailie Deegan. Drew Dollar, who experienced mechanical issues at the second break and finished 14th, dropped to third – 19 behind Self.
The Calypso 200 aired live on MAVTV and TrackPass on NBC Gold.
The ARCA Menards Series will next race in the General Tire 150 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, July 11. That race is rescheduled from the May event, originally at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
-ARCA Menards Series Press Release
-Photo credit: A.J. Mast / ARCA Racing