Chandler Smith is the youngest driver competing in this weekend’s All American 400. After qualifying on Saturday, he was also the fastest as he earned the pole for Sunday’s 400-lap affair at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN).
Going into Sunday’s race, it will be a battle between the young guns and the veterans, as two teenagers will lead the field to green.
“It was really good, we unloaded strong and we were fast,” Smith told Speed51.com powered by JEGS, “We were just waiting on the track to rubber up to see what it was gonna do. Really good bite all day yesterday, really good bite today. We were just a little bit snug. Overall a really good qualifying run and we have a really good shot to win. We have an even better long-run car than we had in qualifying. I’m really surprised about our qualifying run. We plan on staying on the tires until about Lap 150. If we run our own race and keep the tires on the car we’ll have a good chance.”
Defending Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes will start alongside Smith on the front row. Eckes finished 16th in the All American 400 last year and has had good runs in the past two ARCA races at Nashville.
“I think it’s good. We had a pretty good car in qualifying. I’m surprised we qualified as well as we did,” he stated. “We weren’t 100-percent sure on our short-run car, but we qualified second so we have more confidence going into it. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. We definitely worked on long-run speed. We missed it last year and we fell off in the race. Hopefully, we’ll learn from that and bring home a good finish.”
Casey Roderick will start third after a strong qualifying run. He won the ARCA/CRA Super Series/ Southern Super Series combination event at Nashville back in April and is also looking to win a Pro Late Model track championship this weekend.
“Feels good. I was surprised with our qualifying run but I knew we had a good car. Happy with the Pro, we struggled at the beginning of practice but we figured it out. We were tight but we made a few adjustments and we fixed it,” Roderick explained. “Same with the Super, started out real tight. The track has been through some changes. It’s been a battle to get here but I’m really happy with the cars and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Southern Super Series Champion Stephen Nasse qualified fourth while local shoe Mason Mingus rounded out the top five. Defending All American 400 winner Bubba Pollard will start 12th.
Be sure to stay tuned to Speed51.com as we’ll have Trackside Now coverage of Sunday’s 33rd Annual All American 400 starting at 10 a.m. CT from the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
On-demand coverage of Saturday’s qualifying can be found by clicking here.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
All American 400 Qualifying Results
Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) – September 30, 2017
1 26S Chandler Smith 18.550
2 15 Christian Eckes 18.599
3 7 Casey Roderick 18.615
4 51N Stephen Nasse 18.694
5 5M Mason Mingus 18.727
6 42 Chad Finley 18.739
7 66 Steven Wallace 18.754
9 43 Dennis Schoenfield 18.773
9 54 Matt Craig 18.773
9 2 Donnie Wilson 18.773
12 99 Raphael Lessard 18.784
13 26 Bubba Pollard 18.825
14 51 Cole Rouse 18.850
15 26A Willie Allen 18.864
16 55 Spencer Davis 18.865
17 96 Danny O’Quinn 18.925
18 57 Cole Timm 18.984
19 15T Austin Thaxton 19.013
20 58 Tyler Ankrum 19.032
20 5 Casey Johnson 19.041
21 4 Kyle McCallum 19.103
22 121 Joseph Meyer 19.108
23 05 Nathan Davis 19.650