Zane Smith returns to NASCAR Trucks in 2023, adds Cup races
As part of a long-term agreement, Zane Smith will return to the NASCAR Truck Series next season with Front Row Motorsports as well as make appearances in both the Cup and Xfinity series.
Smith, who clinched the 2022 regular season title in the Truck Series, will return to another fulltime season in the No. 38 Ford next year, the organization announced on Thursday.
In addition, Smith, 23, will make his Daytona 500 debut with FRM as part of a plan that will include other Cup Series starts for the organization in 2023 as well as possible Xfinity Series races with another organization in collaboration with FRM.
“Front Row Motorsports has a lot of great momentum now, not only with their Truck Series program, but also with their Cup Series program,” said Smith.
“While I’m 100 percent focused now on the Truck Series playoffs and racing to win a championship for our partners, I’m excited for what the future holds next season as I get the opportunity to also compete at the next level and continue to grow as a race car driver.”
Another impressive season
So far this season in Trucks, Smith has three wins, 15 top-10 and 10 top-five finishes, and captured the regular season title. He is currently second in the playoff standings heading into the series’ next race, Sept. 9 at Kansas.
“We have been thrilled with the performance by Zane this season,” said team owner Bob Jenkins. “We always felt that he was the next breakthrough star in the sport, and he has been proving that this season.
“We have a plan laid out for him and our next step will be to put Zane and that team in NASCAR Cup Series races where we know we can be successful. We also want to give Zane the opportunity to win more races and a championship with our Truck series program, and we are excited to see what he will do next season.”
In his relatively brief racing career, Smith owns six wins in Trucks and four in the ARCA Menards Series, all since 2018.
Moving up the ladder
He made an impromptu debut in the Cup Series earlier this season, substituting for Chris Buescher in the June 5 race at Gateway and finished 17th.
“We will be strategic as what races we select to enter. We want to allow Zane to highlight what many have seen him do this year at the elite level,” said the team’s general manager Jerry Freeze.
“We will announce those races later once the 2023 schedules are announced. Until that time, we are focused on winning the Truck series championship.”
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