Kyle Busch Motorsports will chase after a third straight Tom Dawson Trophy with Georgia young gun Chandler Smith behind the wheel of the No. 51 for the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby. It will be his fifth Super Late Model start of 2019 with KBM, with the most recent start result in a second-place finish in the All American 400.
Smith has been a model of consistency in his three previous Snowball Derby attempts, with finishes of fifth, seventh, and sixth from 2016 to last year. With the results from years past having been in family equipment, he is excited to see what he can do behind the wheel of a potent ride.
“Considering we’ve had recent good finishes there in the past, I think in the three times I’ve been there it’s been all top-10 finishes. I feel like we’re going to be a lot better there with Kyle’s stuff and with how he’s ran there and how successful he’s been,” Smith told Speed51.com. “We had a good test there as well, so I’m pretty pumped about going.”
After a breakthrough year in 2018 that saw him pick up his first Super Late Model win as well as two ARCA Menards Series wins, 2019 has been an even better one. Smith led ARCA in wins with five, despite competing in just 11 of the 20 races on the schedule, while also leading more laps than anyone else in the series. The year has also seen him make four NASCAR Truck Series starts with Kyle Busch Motorsports, scoring top fives in three of the four races and finishing runner-up at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Our 2019 season has been really successful but I’d like to have done a little better. I’m going to take all the stuff I learned this year with Trucks and any big track stuff I did in the ARCA car and move on to next year,” he said of his 2019. “Hopefully we can do a little better and move on up.”
He and KBM recently completed a test at Five Flags Speedway in advance of Sunday’s Snowball Derby, which also included boss man Kyle Busch getting behind the wheel of a second car. It has left Smith and the team feeling good about their chances on Sunday.
“I feel like we’re going to have a good run at it. When we left the test I told everybody hey, I feel like we’re in good contention to win the race when we come back down here and everybody was pumped about it,” he stated. “Kyle came down here and tested. We brought two cars down here and experimented some stuff with him.”
With the result from last month’s All American 400 still on his mind, a Snowball Derby win would be big as he continues to progress through the ranks. He heads into the race looking for another Super Late Model win and the biggest win of his career.
“It would get me my second Super Late Model win and my biggest Super Late Model win. The atmosphere is unbelievable. I’ve talked to my family a lot, the All American 400 is a pretty big deal but the atmosphere of both the races are totally different. A lot more fans show up for the Derby, there’s more pressure for the Derby, a lot more cars show up, so it’s a pretty big deal. If you end up winning down there you’ve beat the whole country.”
Race fans unable to make the trip to Five Flags Speedway for the Snowball Derby can watch live on Speed51. Click here to order four-day or single ticket video tickets now.
For more information on the Snowball Derby, visit Snowball Central by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com