Chandler Smith was heading to Saturday’s last chance race regardless, but his path towards competing in the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby became even more difficult after his qualifying effort on Friday night. The multi-time ARCA Racing Series winner and his Donnie Wilson Motorsports No. 26 team were disqualified after his qualifying run due to a rules violation involving a cell phone.
Smith’s lap time of 15.551 seconds would have placed him 37th on the time sheet, just behind 2020 Winchester 400 champion Carson Hocevar and ahead of Bubba Pollard. However, Smith will instead start from the rear of the field in the LCQ after being disqualified for using a cell phone in the impound area following his qualifying run.
Smith pleaded his case on Twitter following the disqualification.
Just to clarify to everyone about the Qualifying situation. When I got out of my car AFTER I TOOK MY TIME, I went over to my CC and he showed me my phone and I clicked on race monitor while it was still in his hand and now we start last in the last chance race. This will be fun.. pic.twitter.com/wGfZI7leGW
— Chandler Smith (@CSmithDrive) December 5, 2020
The rulebook for the Snowball Derby dictates, “No cellphones, smart watches or Bluetooth devices allowed in cars at anytime or the impound or you will be disqualified,” under important notes for qualifying night.
“I’ve been preaching for two days,” said Ricky Brooks, Chief Technical Inspector for the Snowball Derby. “No cell phones near the race during qualifying or during the race. It’s listed four or five times during the procedures for the weekend that cell phones aren’t allowed anywhere in the race car, and specifically in the impound. I’ve said it once, if not twice, in every drivers’ meeting. We’re not putting up with it.”
Bluetooth devices are not allowed near race cars due to concerns over traction control devices.
Following his disqualification, Smith will join a star-studded last chance race that includes NASCAR stars Chase Elliott and Noah Gragson, as well as two-time Snowball Derby winner Augie Grill.
Race fans can watch the Saturday’s last chance race as part of Speed51.TV’s pay-per-view coverage by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com