Zane Smith: “If I was up there, I would have loved to help him out. With either wrecking or moving the No. 18 or the No. 4. Because, God, I can’t stand when teammates do that stuff.”
The NASCAR Track Series rolled onto the short track in Bristol, Tennessee on Thursday night. The playoff elimination race would set the stage for the Round of 8 in NASCAR Playoffs with two eliminated.
Watch the Bristol Motor Speedway final laps video below.
A big crash with 9 to go brought out a red flag. It setup a 5 lap shootout for the race win at the short track.
At this point, Sheldon Creed had dominated the race, winning stage one and stage two. Chandler Smith lined up next to Creed on the front row for the final restart.
Smith team radio: “The No. 4’s going to do everything he can to help you. You’re just going to have to get him on the start. You got this man. Bump and run.”
They ran near even into turn one. Creed pinched down on Smith off turn two and they rubbed doors off the corner. Smith got loose and Creed cleared him into turn three.
However, Creed got loose and opened the door off turn four. Smith pulled back even as they raced into turn one with four to go.
Smith cooked the entry to turn one. He forced Creed way up the track and into the marbles. Smith also chased his truck halfway up the banking.
John Hunter Nemechek drove under both of them and looked to be stealing the win. However, Nemechek got loose off turn two and Smith crossed under him to take the race lead.
Nemechek looked to his inside into turn three, Smith turned down on him and slammed the door shut as they rubbed fenders. Behind them, Creed spun with a flat left rear.
Chandler Smith drove away to take the win at Bristol Motor Speedway and climb himself into the NASCAR Playoffs.
The win was the first career win for Chandler Smith after 33 starts in the series.
Smith climbed from the car on the front stretch, “God is good. God is so damn good. I’ve really been tested here in the last year or two. Tested my faith and I’ve kept it, man.”
Sheldon Creed comments
Sheldon Creed heads into the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs in 2nd, 24 points behind Nemechek.
“I was kinda at their mercy. I had two teammates behind me. The No. 4 was going to do whatever he had to do to let the No. 18 be up front.”
“I kinda knew I was going to get hit at some point. Just didn’t know where. He kinda got into me off turn two, slowed me down a little bit. I think that’s maybe what started to cut it down [the tire].”
“Then, ran me up the track in three. Ran me up the track in one. Just, did what he had to do to win.”
“Like, they earned their way into the next round. But, I don’t know if you’re going to get away with that in the next round.”
“Not really worried about them. The No. 4 knows who’s fast and who’s here to race for this thing.”
Creed added, “Really having fun right now. Been racing my dirt car more, loving that. Time to go try and make it to Phoenix.”
Zane Smith is a teammate to Sheldon Creed. However, he was sent to the back for a pit penalty at the start of stage three.
“I heard is was a really BS call. But, I want to apologize to my teammate for always having to go back there,” Tyler Ankrum told Fox Sports after the race.
“If I was up there, I would have loved to help him out. With either wrecking or moving the No. 18 or the No. 4. Because, God, I can’t stand when teammates do that stuff.”
Smith added, “I can’t wait until we finally have one of these without a penalty. It should be a lot easier.”