Smith, aged 24, had a promising beginning to the 2023 season by securing two victories in the initial four races. However, both Smith and his team, No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, have encountered various challenges thereafter.
During a sequence of four races, the individual from Huntington Beach, California, achieved a position of 20th or lower, and unfortunately, encountered crashes in two races this year.
Smith is experiencing some positive momentum as the playoffs begin, starting with the race at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Friday night. In his past four races, he has achieved three top-three finishes, with his most recent being a third-place finish in Richmond, VA.
Smith stated that last year, they experienced very little adversity, but this year their race team has faced numerous challenges and fluctuations.
“We simply need to improve our execution of minor tasks and prioritize our ultimate goal rather than being overly fixated on winning individual stages. While stage wins are crucial, I am content with the progress of our racing team.”
“Regrettably, there have been instances of damaged trucks during the course of our operations, which is unfortunate for all members of FRM. However, we stand united in both victory and defeat.”
Zane Smith, Front Row Motorsports, Tipico Sportsbook Ford F-150
Photo by: David Rosenblum / NKP / Motorsport Images
Smith ended the regular season in third place in the series rankings and is now second in the playoff seedings. Corey Heim emerged as the regular season champion and currently holds a 30-22 lead over Smith in terms of playoff points.
Smith has a positive aspect to look forward to as he enters the playoff opener at IRP, which is his team’s strong performance on short tracks this season.
Smith achieved first place in the dirt race at Bristol and Martinsville, and secured a third-place finish at Martinsville and Richmond. It is worth noting that Smith had faced difficulties at Richmond in previous races.
Smith has competed at IRP once before, achieving a third-place finish.
“I believe that all members of our team enjoy short track racing. It brings a great deal of enjoyment to our series, and Zane has demonstrated his skills on these tracks,” stated Chris Lawson, the crew chief for Smith. “It’s an ideal track for us to commence this playoff journey.”
“The challenges we have encountered have only enhanced our abilities as we embark on this playoff journey. I believe we are still delivering speedy trucks and performing effectively,” he stated. “We simply need to continue with our current approach.”