During his first ever start at Salem Speedway back in April, sixteen-year-old standout Chandler Smith won his second of four consecutive pole awards and led 117-laps on the day only to come up short after blowing a right front tire on the final lap battling teammate Christian Eckes for the win.
Smith, a native of Talking Rock, Georgia, will get another chance to tame the Southern Indiana’s half-mile bullring when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to Salem on Saturday night for the 104th running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200.
“I’ve been waiting for what seems an eternity to get back to Salem,” says Smith. “The last time out we had a rocket ship and led a ton of laps. We had a great battle going with Eckes at the end and I feel we would’ve won, but when I got to his inside going into turn two the tire let go. I took a hard hit. But the most difficult part of it all was being unable to make the pass and pull away. I felt like we had the best car – I’ll be ready to Saturday. I want this one.”
Enjoying a breakout rookie season, the driver of the No.20 Craftsman Toyota has made the most out of his seven ARCA Series starts. Picking up his first career win in June at Madison International Speedway, Smith set a new series record winning four consecutive pole positions to start his ARCA career. Despite racing part-time, the high school Junior leads all series drivers with 564-laps led on the season.
During Smith’s seven series starts he’s recorded 4 top-5’s and seven top-10’s. His 2.9 average starting position and fifth place finishing average is also top among all series drivers.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing from Salem Speedway is slated to go green Saturday, September 15 at 7:15pm. MAVTV will carry live broadcast coverage starting at 7:00pm. Spectator gates open on Saturday at 11:15 a.m., with practice getting underway at 12-noon. Qualifying is set for 3:00pm. All times Eastern Standard Time.