NASCAR: Chandler Smith could make big move to Kaulig Racing in 2023

Chandler Smith might be moving to Kaulig Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the 2023 season. Why could this be the case and what does it mean for everyone?

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Kyle Busch’s move to Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series has created a domino effect of moves that translates all the way down to the lower ranks of racing, including the ARCA Menards Series.

Chandler Smith, the driver of the No. 18 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports, might be seeing his future development within another manufacturer for the 2023 season and beyond.

NASCAR: Chris Rice’s tweet suggests Chandler Smith to Kaulig Racing

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Kaulig Racing is scheduled to have a “Fan Day” on Wednesday, October 5 as it will feature many items such as a silent auction, food trucks and local vendors, kids activities, driver autographs, and much more.

It is also expected that Kaulig Racing will announce A.J. Allmendinger as the driver of the No. 16 car for its NASCAR Cup Series team starting in the 2023 season, according to The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi.

However, President of Kaulig Racing Chris Rice sent out the following tweet with the caption “Wednesday?” and a picture of Smith’s legs amid rumors that he could move to the team next season, presumably the Xfinity Series.

Smith has followed Rice, Matt Kaulig, and Kaulig Racing on social media within the past few weeks. It would make sense to put Smith in the expected to be vacant No. 16 car in the Xfinity Series on a full-time basis.

The 2023 driver announcements for Kaulig Racing will come at 11:00 AM ET this Wednesday. If the tweet above is true, Smith should be there in some capacity. Plus, why would the 20-year-old show up if it’s not for a ride next season?

Now, let’s dive into this possible move for Smith and what it means for Toyota and Kyle Busch Motorsports.

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Chandler Smith’s possible move to Kaulig Racing in 2023

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Smith could be on the move to Kaulig Racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series organization as soon as Wednesday. It would mark the first time Smith has been full-time in the series after competing in two races earlier in 2022.

Allmendinger is expected to move up to the organization’s No. 16 car in the NASCAR Cup Series next season so it allows another driver to join the team. This would likely be Smith’s path to Kaulig Racing.

If this proves to be true, it would allow the organization to poach Toyota Racing’s arguably top prospect in the lower ranks with Ty Gibbs expected to replace Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing in the Cup Series next season.

The move easily sets up the future in a very predictable way. Allmendinger is 40 years old and won’t race in the Cup Series forever. If Kaulig Racing doesn’t buy a charter before his departure, Smith will easily slide into the No. 16 Cup car.

The short-term future for Kaulig Racing’s Cup Series organization is bright as Allmendinger can compete for victories. The long-term future could be even brighter with the 20-year-old’s high potential in NASCAR.

If Smith leaves Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota Racing, it would not be a surprise. The current driver of the No. 18 has tallied three wins, eight top-5 finishes, 14 top-10 finishes, and the most points during the Truck Series playoffs.

It is clear that Smith is ready to make the jump to the Xfinity Series. Toyota Racing has many drivers in the pipeline but potentially not seeing him in one of their entries in the top levels must be a disappointment.

He has been a great driver for the manufacturer dating back to his days in the ARCA Menards Series. However, the bright side is that Toyota still has Corey Heim under contract, who has impressed in his starts this season.

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ move to Chevrolet might not even mean that much in this process. Smith could move to Chevrolet with Kaulig Racing. It might just be the right opportunity and time for the young driver.

Smith will have a good home for the 2023 season and if the tweet and clues from Rice come to frution, that home could be announced on Wednesday at 11:00 AM ET.

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