Zane Smith Goes Back to Back at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas


Smith and the Speedco/PEAK team literally burned it down Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Smith led the final 15 laps to hold off Kyle Busch to win his second consecutive race at COTA and second win of the season. Smith now has nine NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series wins while Front Row Motorsports is three for three at COTA.

Smith started from the seventh position and quickly made it up to the top-three. The team made a pit stop and finished eighth in the first stage. Smith and Busch both worked to the front in the second stage with Busch leading. The Speedco/PEAK team elected to pit as stage two ended. Busch did not and moments later a caution came out. As Busch had to pit, Smith vaulted to the lead and never relinquished it.

The team built a six second lead and Busch could not catch the Speedco/PEAK Ford.

As Smith celebrated with a burnout on the track, rubber caught fire. A fire burned the back of the truck with the team celebrating.

The team is back in the regular season and playoff points lead.

Zane Smith, Driver No. 38 Speedco/PEAK Ford F-150:

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE CLOSING LAPS WITH KYLE BUSCH MAKING A PUSH? “Yeah, it was definitely nerve-racking there, but I knew once he was in that traffic, I needed to somewhat charge there but have enough at the end of the run. While he was trying to get through traffic, I was just trying to put down lap times and get a gap going. Fortunately, we worked up to about six-and-a-half seconds. I knew I was going to have to make a big mistake for him to get into striking distance. He is so strong under braking, and COTA is just all massive braking zones. That was my biggest worry, but I always enjoy racing him and it was fun this weekend racing with Ross [Chastain]. I’ve learned so much racing those guys, so hopefully in the near future, I can race with them every weekend.”

TIRES PROVED TO BE MORE OF A FACTOR THIS YEAR. HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO MANAGE DEGRADATION? “Really difficult, especially I feel like every year it gets bumpier and bumpier, and these bumps are knocking us sideways left and right. That’s the biggest thing. A lot of this track has new pavement and old pavement. It’s so easy to lock up fronts and try to find that drive-off. Fortunately, we found it when it mattered, and I’m just so happy to be here.”