The main driver lineup for Kyle Busch Motorsports will remain the same for another season. The NASCAR Truck Series organization has announced that Chandler Smith will return to the No. 18 Toyota Tundra after a two-win season.
KBM announced the news with a video on Tuesday, November 30. The Rookie of the Year pulled up to a Safelite Auto Glass location so he could “sign some paperwork.” The camera revealed that Smith was signing his contract for the 2022 season. KBM then issued a press release confirming Smith’s return for even more races.
“I’m really excited to be back partnered with Safelite and KBM for a second full-time season and ready for another run at a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship,” Smith said in a statement. “Danny [Stockman, crew chief] and I built something over the course of the year and really hit our stride late in the season. We’re looking forward to carrying that momentum over to starting 2022 strong. I feel that having some form of practice and qualifying at all the races next season will be big for our No. 18 Safelite team.”
Smith is the second KBM driver to announce his plans for the 2022 season. Defending regular-season champion John Hunter Nemechek revealed on October 13 that he will return to the No. 4 KBM Toyota Tundra for a second consecutive season.
Safelite Will Join Smith for Several Races
Smith’s primary scheme for 16 races of the 2021 Truck Series season prominently featured Safelite logos. This will not change during the 2022 season as the company returns as a key partner once again.
According to the KBM press release, Safelite will join Smith for 15 of the 23 races on the 2022 schedule. The rookie took Safelite to Victory Lane twice during his first full-time season, and he has the goal of doing so more times as a sophomore driver.
“Chandler finished the 2021 season strong by winning twice over the last five races and we’re confident that he and Danny will be able to pick up right where they left off next year,” team owner Kyle Busch said in a statement. “It was awesome for us to be able to get Safelite into victory lane and celebrate with them multiple times in 2021 as they really support their racing program. I know that everyone on the No. 18 Safelite team is working hard to ensure we continue winning and push to be one of the four teams competing for a championship at Phoenix.”
There are seven other races that will need a primary partner for the No. 18 Toyota Tundra. JBL sponsored Smith for six races in 2021, but there is no guarantee that the brand will be back on the No. 18 for another run. KBM will provide updates about other schemes and partners as the 2022 Truck Series season approaches.
Smith’s First-Ever Truck Series Win Stunned Viewers
Smith first reached Victory Lane in a must-win situation. He headed to Bristol Motor Speedway on September 16 for the final cutoff race of the Round of 10 and delivered a wild win.
2020 Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed started on the pole and led throughout the race, winning all three stages. He appeared to be en route to another dominant win, but a final caution forced the drivers to line up for a five-lap shootout.
Creed sat on the outside in the No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet while Smith took the inside in the No. 18 KBM Toyota Tundra. Creed got a great launch and took the lead initially, but Smith continued fighting for position.
The No. 2 suffered tire issues during this final shootout that sent Creed up the track and out of control. He lost his position while Smith jumped to the lead and began battling his teammate, John Hunter Nemechek. The rookie held on to take the checkered flag and secure his spot in the Round of Eight. Smith then capped off his year with a win at Phoenix Raceway, securing the Rookie of the Year honors.