Concord, North Carolina (June 5, 2017) – Over the weekend the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returned to Minnesota’s Elko Speedway for the fourth annual Shore Lunch 250.
Saturday night’s race featured classic door-to-door style short track racing and a thrilling photo finish between race winner Austin Theriault and Venturini Motorsports driver Christian Eckes.
For driver Zane Smith it was his fourth race of the season behind the wheel of his now familiar Venturini Motorsports’ prepared No.55 Toyota race car. Smith finished sixth earning his fourth consecutive top-10 spot of the season.
Armed with a strong race car, Smith led 19-laps throughout the night and was seemingly set for a podium finish before being collected by driver Riley Herbst coming to the stripe during the dramatic finish. With Smith spinning in a cloud of smoke a pack of cars hurling towards the finish line made contact setting off a huge multi-car wreck with Smith getting the worst. Coming to a stop on the track shy of the finish line, Smith was tagged by multiple cars catapulting his destroyed La Paz – Icon Vehicle Dynamics backed vehicle across the line.
With the help of ARCA’s Safety team, Smith, visibly shaken, exited his car. Transported to a nearby Northfield Hospital for evaluation, Smith was quickly evaluated and released with no serious injury.
“We had a really good piece torn up at Elko in that crazy finish,” said Smith. “We ran top-5 all night long and put ourselves in great position at the end of the race. It’s really too bad how that one ended – the team worked hard all day to get the car setup – we made huge gains throughout the day and had a race winning car. Overall it was probably the best combined effort we had all season. I just can’t thank everyone on this team enough for preparing such strong Toyota race cars each and every week.”
After competing at Elko Speedway, the shortest track on the ARCA schedule, Smith and team make the quick turnaround this week and travel to one of the largest tracks for Friday’s General Tire #AnyWhereIsPossible 200 at the 2.5 mile Pocono Raceway.
Smith, driving the No.55 Musselman’s Apple Sauce – Icon Vehicle Dynamics Toyota will make his first career start at the Pennsylvania track known as the ‘Tricky Triangle’. Smith will join teammates Christian Eckes, Spencer Davis and Natalie Decker at Pocono on Wednesday for a scheduled series open test prior to Friday’s main event.
“I’m stoked for Pocono,” added Smith. “I’ve been looking forward and preparing for this race for the last few weeks. Never racing Pocono I’ve studied film and ran the simulator last week to help get familiar with the track. Billy (Venturini) and the guys back at the shop have put together a great car for this weekend. We’ll go out early and test prior to Friday’s race – I’m confident we should be pretty stout.”
Pocono Raceday Schedule
Practice for the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 is raceday, Friday morning from 9:30 – 10:55 a.m. with General Tire Pole Qualifying at 2 p.m. The General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 is live on FOX SPORTS 1 Friday afternoon at 5:45 p.m.
In addition to live coverage on FOX Sports 1, arcaracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activities.
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.