NASCAR: Chandler Smith Opens Up About Team Harmony

by Samantha Whidden

Following Corey Heim’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Heim’s Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate, Chandler Smith, opens up about the importance of team harmony. 

During an interview with NASCAR, Chandler Smith revealed that after he and John Hunt Nemechek gave Heim a congratulatory nudge on the cool-down lap, he suggested the team harmony was actually in need of counseling. “I mean, we go with the mindset where it was speedway racing today, was it not? So, went in with the mindset of, we’ve gotta stick with teammates. Teammates are gonna win this race. Yada, yada, yada.”

That was when Chandler Smith declared to NASCAR that he was the only KBM teammate today. “Corey helped me one time. But any other time, we never helped each other. If anything, we screwed each other. I’m the only one that really helped. And I’m not saying that to toot my own horn. I’m just being real.”

Chandler Smith went on to say that KBM had a “pre-race huddle” to talk about strategy. The meeting was to predict the reconfigured layout in Atlanta. Which meant to occur on using the “aerodynamic draft” as a helping. This meant the KBM three-truck effort would move forward together. 

However, Chandler Smith states those plans were largely abandoned once the green flag waved. “I just don’t understand the thinking and the process behind it. We all had a meeting before the race on working together. Just like we did at Vegas. We didn’t even relatively even try to do that today. So it’s just really irritating because I’m a big believer in we’ve got to do that.”

Chandler went on to add that he was all on board with it all day. But then it came to the point where he kept getting screwed over. “It’s like, is it worth it? I just need to look out for our group at this point.”

Corey Heim Defends His Strategy of Winning NASCAR’s Fr8 208

Meanwhile, Corey Heim defends his strategy of winning the race to NASCAR. He states he believes the goal of the day was for a KBM truck to be in Victory Lane. “So that was exactly what happened. Nobody got wrecked and I didn’t do anything wrong with what I did at the end there. It’s my career. It’s my own path. And I’m trying to win races.”

Heim then praised Chandler Smith for defending what he could. However, he described Smith as being a sitting duck. “I kind of had my own game plan in my head at the end there. For pulling that kind of block. So yea, I feel like the beginning goal of the day was for a KBM truck to be in Victory Lane. And luckily, it was me.”