Championship Contender Joining Kaulig Racing for 2023 Xfinity Series Season

Chandler Smith

Getty Chandler Smith will join Kaulig Racing in 2023.

Kaulig Racing announced on October 5 that AJ Allmendinger would move up to the Cup Series for the 2023 season. This left an open spot in the No. 16 Xfinity Series entry, and the team filled it with a championship contender.

Allmendinger actually made the announcement during the press conference announcing his move to Cup. He took the microphone and said that Camping World Truck Series driver Chandler Smith will replace him in the Xfinity Series program. Smith will leave Kyle Busch Motorsports to drive a Chevrolet.

According to a press release, Smith has signed a multi-year deal to join Kaulig Racing. The 20-year-old will have some security at the organization as he pursues Rookie of the Year honors and tries to win for the first time in the Xfinity Series.

“I’m really excited to have an opportunity like this for my rookie year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” Smith said in a press release. “Kaulig Racing has grown from a small team to a multi-series, powerhouse team in just a few short years. I’m honored to take over the No. 16 car that has had so much success these last couple of years.”

Smith Has Achieved Considerable Success in the Truck Series

Chandler Smith

GettyChandler Smith has become a championship contender in 2022.

Smith is only in his second full-time season in the Camping World Truck Series, but he has achieved a considerable amount in very little time. For example, he has reached the playoffs in both seasons of his career, and he won Rookie of the Year in 2021.

Smith went winless during the regular season in 2021, but he secured his first two wins during the playoffs. He captured the cutoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway and punched his ticket to the Round of Eight. He then capped off the year by winning the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

Smith’s second full-time season with KBM has featured three more trips to Victory Lane. He won the second race of the year, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and then won the regular-season finale at Pocono Raceway. Two weeks later, Smith won at Richmond Raceway to move on to the Round of Eight for the second consecutive season.

There are two races remaining in the Truck Series season. The first is the Round of Eight cutoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which Smith will enter sitting 30 points above the cutline. The second is the season finale at Phoenix Raceway where the four eligible drivers will battle for the championship trophy.

Smith Has Made 2 Xfinity Series Starts

Chandler Smith

GettyChandler Smith finished 21st at Dover Motor Speedway.

The 2023 season will mark Smith’s first as a full-time Xfinity Series driver, and it will provide him with more opportunities to gain experience in the national NASCAR series.

Smith has made two starts in the Xfinity Series, both in a Toyota GR Supra. He made his debut at Talladega Superspeedway in April with Sam Hunt Racing, and he finished 38th after a crash. He then returned to the No. 26 Toyota at Dover the following week and finished 21st.

Now Smith will move over to a team that has achieved extensive success in the Xfinity Series since its formation. He will become the latest young prospect to drive a Kaulig Racing car, and he will pursue career marks as a rookie.

“Chandler Smith is a kid who we see a ton of potential in at Kaulig Racing,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing, in a press release. “We take pride in giving kids like Chandler an opportunity to compete for wins and be a stepping stone in their career. It’s been exciting to see what Chandler has done in the truck series over two seasons, and we think competing for Kaulig Racing is the perfect next step for both Chandler and our team.”

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