Chandler Smith Dominates ARCA Race at Iowa Speedway

Chandler Smith
Chandler Smith

Chandler Smith backed up his performance in practice by taking his fourth pole position start of the season for the ARCA Menards Series Fans With Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway. Smith turned a fast lap of 130.262 mph to edge his Venturini Motorsports teammate Michael Self. In addition to being Smith's fourth pole of the season, it was 13th pole in 14 races for Venturini Motorsports so far.

"To say it's hot is an understatement," Smith said of the ambient and track conditions at Iowa Speedway following qualifying. "It's hot in the car and we're are just slipping and sliding out there on the track. The sun will go down and the track conditions will be totally different for the race, though."

Smith’s words proved prophetic but Smith was able to lead the first 106 laps of the race. Driving the No. 20 Craftsman Tools car, Smith had only one mishap with a slow pit stop during the second caution for debris and lost the race off pit road to Ty Gibbs. After dropping to sixth it did not take to long for Smith to regain control of the top position as he passed Gibbs with 35 laps to go.

“I think the experience really paid off there at the end of the race when we had to start from sixth, but I think we got to first in like 5 laps or something like that," said Smith post-race. “That definitely paid off when I raced here in the [NASCAR Gander Outdoors] trucks considering I had to come from the back twice and I raced well."

This was the second time this season Smith has raced at Iowa Speedway. He led the first 55 laps of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series M&Ms 200 presented by Casey’s General Store earlier in the season in his debut driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

The trip to Casey’s General Store Victory Lane for Smith marked the 13th different ARCA winners in as many races in Iowa Speedway’s 14-year history. Iowa Speedway is one of 11 tracks one mile in length or shorter on the ARCA Menards Series schedule, making it Round 7 of the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge. Smith leads the standings over 16-year-old Ty Gibbs.

The championship-within-a-championship offers drivers that cannot compete on the superspeedways due to age restrictions a chance at racing for a championship. Smith finished second in the 2018 ARCA Menards Series Fans With Benefits 150 race at Iowa Speedway, crossing the finish line just about a quarter of second behind winner and eventual series champion Sheldon Creed.

“It definitely took a really good handling race car … this is our 5th consecutive win on a short track for this organization in general, so really proud of these guys. And it is our first Venturini win here at Iowa and I am glad my name was written on it."

Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is Pocono Raceway on Friday, July 26 (3:00 p.m. CT on FS1).

Results

Pos Car Mfg Driver Sponsor Laps Behind Gap
1 20 Toyota Chandler Smith Craftsman Tools 150 0.0 0.0
2 15 Toyota Christian Eckes JBL Audio 150 -1.515 -0.256
3 25 Toyota Michael Self Sinclair Lubricants 150 -1.838 -0.003
4 28 Chevy Carson Hocevar GMPartsNow.com-Scotts 150 -1.999 -0.465
5 18 Toyota Ty Gibbs Monster-Terrible Herbst-Orca-Advanced Auto 150 -2.42 0.033
6 22 Ford Corey Heim Speedway Children's Charities 150 -2.961 -0.256
7 27 Ford Travis Braden MatrixCare-Consonus Healthcare-Liberty Village 150 -3.726 -0.664
8 23 Chevy Bret Holmes Holmes II Excavating 150 -5.118 -0.772
9 77 Ford Joe Graf Jr. Eat Sleep Race 149 -1 lap -1 lap
10 32 Chevy Colby Howard The Hope Foundation-Yurpal 149 -1 lap -1 lap
11 38 Ford Kaden Honeycutt BBD Fabrication 148 -2 laps -2 laps
12 55 Toyota Gavin Harlien Autism Awareness #4Presley 148 -2 laps -2 laps
13 7 Toyota Eric Caudell Honoring America's Warriors 142 -8 laps -8 laps
14 11 Toyota Rick Clifton Ohio Ag Equipment-Asheville Propane 141 -9 laps -9 laps
15 69 Toyota Scott Melton Melton McFadden Insurance Agency 139 -11 laps -11 laps
16 06 Toyota Tim Richmond GreatRailing.com 135 -15 laps -15 laps
17 48 Ford Brad Smith Copraya.com 35 -115 laps -115 laps
18 1 Ford Jason Miles Fast Track High Performance Driving 20 -130 laps -130 laps
19 10 Ford Tommy Vigh Jr. Extreme Kleaner – Thomas Coffee 4 -146 laps -146 laps

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