Concord, North Carolina (April 5, 2017) – Zane Smith will make his highly anticipated ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season debut on Saturday, April 8 during the Music City 200 at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
After sitting out Daytona, unable to compete due to series’ age restrictions, the seventeen year-old driver has been patiently waiting his turn behind the wheel. That time is now – Smith will roll out his No.55 Icon Vehicle Dynamics-LaPaz Toyota this weekend.
“It’s been a long time waiting for this moment to finally get here,” said Smith. “I’ve been fired up since we made the announcement during the off-season. Everyone has been preparing for this moment and eager to get off to a fast start. I’m thankful for the opportunity and appreciate Toyota and all the support I receive from our partners.”
Smith, a native of Huntington Beach, CA, will drive Venturini Motorsports’ prepared Toyota Camry in 18 of 20 scheduled series events with sights set on winning and making an immediate impact during his rookie season.
“My confidence in my own abilities and this team is really high going into my first season start. I know what we’re capable of doing on the race track. We’ve got all the resources to show up and challenge for the win each and every week.”
Running for SCOTT Rookie of the Year honors, Smith will be teamed with crew chief Billy Venturini. Smith joins a potent 55-team which finished second in the 2016 ARCA owner national point standings and won the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge.
“Billy (Venturini) brings a lot of intensity to the track. He gets it – he’s been doing this at a high level for a long time. We get along great on and off the track and he never settles. We’ve only had the off-season together so far but he’s been pushing and challenging me to get better already,” added Smith.
Last year on the pit box Billy Venturini led driver Dalton Sargeant to his first series victory along with helping capture rookie of the year honors becoming the team’s second driver to achieve the feat over the last four seasons.
Already in 2017, Smith has turned in two top-5 finishes in NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition. The west coast kid finished second in the NKNPSE opener at New Smyrna and fourth-place at Tucson Speedway in the NKNPSW series.
Smith, who made his first career ARCA appearances with Venturini Motorsports late in the 2016 season, was impressive at both Salem and Kentucky Speedway. Considered by many as one of the top driver prospects in the country, Smith gained national recognition in 2015 when he won the overall Super Late Model championship at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
During his breakout season the talented teen recorded three PASS South wins and a CARS Super Late Model Tour win. Capping off a successful ’15 season, Smith finished second at the prestigious Snowball Derby – runner up to last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year winner, Chase Elliot.
Smith, part of VMS’ three team effort will join Toyota teammates, Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard in Nashville.
VMS, an official Toyota Racing Development team, is widely known for their ARCA success recording 43-team victories during their longstanding series involvement. Thirty of VMS’s all-time victories have been recorded since 2008.
Saturday’s Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation marks the 26th ARCA race at Fairgrounds Speedway since its debut on the famous short track in 1959. The event will air LIVE on MAVTV with broadcast coverage beginning at 8 p.m. CST. Follow ARCARacing.com or @VenturiniMotor on Twitter for weekend updates.
For more information on Zane Smith visit Facebook.com/ZaneSmithRacing or @ZaneSmith77 on Twitter.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Daniel Suarez, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (www.NIASHF.org) and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.