Zane Smith Seeks Second Truck Title While Driving Part-time in Cup

Zane Smith has a bit of luxury that many other potential customers don’t have in NASCAR.

With the full 2023 schedule Craftsman truck series season is seven NASCAR Cup races, he can focus on results in the truck and apply more learning methods in the Cup.

That’s not to say his Cup results won’t matter. But Smith’s main goal in 2023 is to win the truck championship and hit enough Cup car reps, so if he goes full-time in 2024, he’ll have a solid foundation.

Smith, trucks 2022 said: “What we achieved last year in the truck segment was that we had a really good year, but I feel there is still a lot of room for improvement there and I We feel like we’re on the right track.” series champion. “On the Cup side, I feel like this is about learning as much as possible and spending as much time as possible on the Cup side.

“However, in doing so, I want to perform. And so here’s a team that I think is capable of doing so on these tracks … and we’ll see where we rank.”

Smith is a top prospect thanks to truck wins and seven truck wins over the past three years. He made his Cup debut in June at the Gateway, fill in Chris Buescher (COVID-19) and ranked 17th. Brad Keselowski put Smith at the top of the list of drivers to use in a pinch, and Smith performed well when looking at situations.

[Bob Pockrass ranks the top 20 NASCAR prospects for the next decade]

Smith said: “It’s great to hear your name around, especially the Cup garage and our sport in general. “I’m so glad I’m under the Ford banner and happy to be with the team I’m on right now.

“I have a lot of good people around me from different angles. Winning decides everything in this sport. And that’s where I focus all my attention.”

Zane Smith’s celebrates truck series title

Last November at the Phoenix Circuit, Zane Smith took the truck series’ crown after two consecutive years in runner-up.

The 23-year-old will attempt the Daytona 500, the only of seven Cup races in which he will not be automatically entered. I will replace Todd Gilliland in a Front Row rental car for the other six.

Gilliland and Smith are good friends, but Front Row has sponsored Smith from Centene Corporation for the majority of the races, which he hopes can build a lasting driver-sponsorship relationship. Smith will replace Gilliland in Phoenix in March, Talladega in April, Charlotte in May, Sonoma in June, Texas in September and Charlotte Street in October.

Smith, who is currently on a multi-year contract at Front Row, admits there was some awkwardness about replacing a friend at some events.

“A little,” said Smith. “It’s not up to me, and he’s been in the sport for a long time and hopefully he understands.”

With 2023 marking the second year of the NASCAR Next Generation car, Smith wants to get on the track as drivers begin to learn the intricacies of this car after its 2022 debut.

“I get a lot of advice from people on the Cup side: ‘Hey, if you get a chance to run Cup races, take them whatever it is. Time in this is precious’.” Smith said. “I can clearly see that, especially after I first started at Gateway.

“Who wouldn’t want to race on Sunday? I have a great chance.”

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsport, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News- Journal. Follow him on Twitter @reedsand sign up FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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