CONCORD, N.C. – After contributing to the Owners Championship in 2019, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) officials announced today that Chandler Smith will once again pilot the No. 20 Toyota Camry in 2020. Smith will handle the driving duties in the 13-races he will be age eligible throughout the season and rejoin with crew chief and team owner Billy Venturini.
“Chandler (Smith) is an incredibly talented young driver who we have enjoyed having as part of our program since he first came to the ARCA Series,” commented Billy Venturini. “My main goal next season with Chandler, is to win the most races, most pole awards and win the Sioux Chief Showdown. After that, I think we set our sights on defending our Owners Championship from 2019 and build off what we have already started.”
Competing part-time during the 2019 season, the Talking Rock, G.A. native started in just 11-races, earning five wins, four poles, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. Smith also went on to earn the prestigious Lap Leader award, edging out teammate Michael Self by 129 laps-led with his season high 666 laps-led. Coupled with the help of the four additional drivers sharing the ride, the No. 20 team earned the 2019 Owners Championship upon seasons end.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to be back with Venturini Motorsports, Billy Venturini and all of the No. 20 guys next season. 2020 will mark my third season with VMS in the ARCA Menards Series and I am looking forward to running for the Sioux Chief Showdown championship,” commented Smith. “VMS has been working so hard over the offseason and I am ready to take our Toyota Camry back to victory lane. I want to thank everyone at Toyota, TRD and TD2 for their continued support and molding of my racing career, without them I would not be where I am at today. ”
At a mere 17-years old, Smith is only eligible, per the ARCA rulebook, to compete on tracks less than one-mile in length and road courses. This will allow the young Toyota Racing Development (TRD) driver the opportunity to compete in 13-races next season, including all of the intermediate 1.5-mile style tracks following his 18thbirthday on June 26th. The sole season goal for the Billy Venturini led team; to defend their 2019 Owners Championship and put the No. 20 Toyota Camry in victory lane every chance they can.
While the 2020 season kicks off at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 8th, Smith’s first scheduled start will be at ISM Raceway on Friday, March 6th. An announcement regarding sponsorship and additional teammates to Smith in the No. 20 will be forthcoming.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS
With over 65 victories, the 2019 ARCA Menards Series champions, Venturini Motorsports, are an official Toyota Racing Development team and have been a permanent fixture in the ARCA Menards Series since 1983 and are considered one of the early pioneers in NASCAR driver development programs.
Since Joey Logano, the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion, raced for the team in 2007, VMS has gone onto assist many of the sports’ top driver prospects in pursuit of making it to the highest levels of stock car racing.
The growing list of drivers racing today in one of NASCAR’s top-three touring series include current Toyota drivers Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton, Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Brandon Jones, Todd Gilliland, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed and Natalie Decker. VMS Alumni also include Joey Logano, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Matt Tifft, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Justin Haley.
-Venturini Motorsports Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo