Zane Smith signs multi-year contract with Trackhouse
Sunday 17th September, 2023 - 3:54pm
It’s been announced Zane Smith will drive for Trackhouse Racing in a multi-year deal and will drive in the NASCAR Cup Series full-time next year.
One of the top prospects in NASCAR racing won’t drive for Trackhouse Racing in 2024, but instead will be on loan to Spire Motorsport after acquiring a charter from Live Fast Motorsports.
After a successful 2022 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season where he secured the title, Smith will bypass the usual full-season Xfinity Series apprenticeship to go directly to the Cup Series.
Smith is no stranger to the Xfinity Series having been a part-time competitor since 2019, and the 24-year-old holds an impressive resume after making the Championship 4 in his rookie truck season as he repeated it a year later.
Making his Cup Series debut last year as a substitute for Chris Buescher at Gateway to finish 17th, before scoring 13th at this year’s Daytona 500 replacing Cody Ware in the Rick Ware Racing entry.
“It’s the world to me,” said Smith.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Just the sacrifices that have been made, that’s where all of the emotion comes from and how bad I want it.
“I will do whatever it takes to win on Sunday. I now have that chance thanks to Justin Marks. I’m ready to go compete on Sundays. That’s crazy to say.”
In a way, Smith is coming full-circle as when Chip Ganassi sold his team to Trackhouse in 2021, Smith was under contract with Ganassi to replace Kurt Busch in 2022.
“Unfortunately, it was a weird situation we were all in,” Smith said regarding the situation with Ganassi.
“Truthfully, I don’t know if I was ready as a race car driver to take on Sunday. Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet in the Cup Series, I truly do believe I’m ready now and I’m excited for next year with Spire to learn.
“It’s a whole different ball game. I’m just ready to attack it and take advantage of the opportunity I have in front of me. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted.”
Justin Marks was excited by the prospects of Smith as he acclimatises to Trackhouse Racing.
“The alliance is mainly focused on Zane,” he said. “Zane signed a contract with Trackhouse. Zane is going to have a presence in our shop, he is going to have a presence in our systems and our meetings.
“Zane is a driver that we have placed over, with the help of Spire, in another car. It’s really to make sure that all of Zane’s opportunities, development, experiences, everything next year is in the context of him learning in the first year of the Cup Series and becoming a Trackhouse driver under our roof.”