Why did Chandler Smith choose to leave JGR to join the Chevy team Kaulig Racing?


Why did Chandler Smith choose to leave JGR to join the Chevy team Kaulig Racing?

Chandler Smith

Chandler Smith will replace AJ Allmendinger in the No:16 Kaulig Racing Xfinity team in 2023. The youngster’s surprising move from the Toyota grid made him the second biggest Toyota driver to sign with its rival chevy. Kyle Busch signed with RCR ending his 15-year-long stay with the Toyota giant last month.

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Chandler Smith has been driving for Toyota for the last six years. Smith, who was the biggest Truck Series prospect of Toyota is the championship leader with 3 wins and 15 top-10 finishes this season. He is a heavy favorite to win the championship for Kyle Busch-owned Toyota outfit KBM.

Chandler Smith got his Xfinity call-up after AJ Allmendinger signed a deal that will see him racing full-time in the cup series next season. Now, in his latest interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Smith has revealed why he signed with Kaulig instead of joining the JGR Xfinity team.

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Chandler Smith reveals why he joined Kaulig Racing

Chandler Smith
Chandler Smith

Chandler Smith said that he has been conversing with Kaulig for a long time regarding the deal. He pointed out that he chooses to join the chevy team after seeing the potential the team had and the plan they had for him.  

There was a conversation two months ago and I didn’t know the conversation was serious until about a month ago…When I found out they were really serious about it, seeing the plan they had for me, they were pretty excited about the possibility of me coming here as well. Seeing a lot of potentials. That’s where I want to be at the end of the day,” Chandler Smith said.

Chandler Smith acknowledged that he has Toyota to thank for getting him opportunities like this. He pointed out that the manufacturer provided him with the best equipment available to shine brighter in the Truck series.

I’ve been a TRD driver for six to seven years. They got me to where I am. They’ve put me in places as far as KBM, and Venturini Motorsports. Good equipment just like where I am at Kyle Busch Motorsports this year to go win races and get opportunities like this. A lot of why I got this opportunity was because of Toyota,” Chandler Smith added.

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Chandler Smith said that he had a JGR deal at the table for a potential Xfinity promotion. He added that every deal has its pros and cons. Smith said that he chose Kaulig Racing because he knows they are going to be a racing powerhouse one day.

With that being said, though, I had quite a few different options for next year just taking off my Toyota cap. I had the option of going to JGR. There are just pros and cons to every single deal. At the end of the day, there’s no secret that Kaulig Racing is going to be a powerhouse team one day — in the Cup Series that is,”

Chandler Smith added that Koulig wanted him in the No:16 car. He said, “They already are in Xfinity. I’m 20 years old. I have time on my side, I feel like. So, with that being said, a young driver coming over here, they want me to come over here. I think that’s something really good for someone in my position,”.

Do you think Chandler Smith made the right call by leaving Toyota?

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