Concord, North Carolina (September 3, 2016) – Announced today, seventeen year-old Zane Smith will move up his earlier reported ARCA Racing Series debut and drive for Venturini Motorsports (VMS) in next week’s highly anticipated Fall Classic at Salem Speedway on Saturday, September 10.
Smith, already scheduled to make his Kentucky Speedway debut later this month, will drive VMS’ No.66 Icon Vehicle Dynamics Toyota at the famed Indiana half-mile short track.
“I can’t thank everyone enough, especially Icon Vehicle Dynamics, who made it possible to add Salem to our schedule,” said Smith. “We’ve had so much support over the years and I’m proud to be partnered and surrounded by such great people.”
A native of Huntington Beach, California, Smith will join teammates Tom Hessert, Dalton Sargeant and Christopher Bell during ARCA’s Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing 200.
“Short track racing is what I know best,” says Smith. “Having the opportunity to race at Salem is going to be sweet. I’ve never been there but know all about the history and the intense type of racing it produces. This is a proven race team with great teammates by my side for the weekend – I’ll digest as much race film as possible and plan on leaning on my guys for some friendly advice before hitting the track.”
A first timer at Salem Speedway, Smith will tune up for his ARCA Series start by racing his Pro and Super Late Model car in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour at the often compared Winchester Speedway this coming weekend. Smith will compete in tour’s Winchester 100 on Sunday, September 4.
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 2015 season, Smith finished second at the prestigious Snowball Derby – runner up to this year’s current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Chase Elliot.
The upcoming Salem event marks the 100th ARCA Racing Series race at Salem since the tour debuted on the legendary high-banked half-mile track in 1955. No track has appeared more on ARCA’s schedule over the tour’s 64-year history than Salem.
Venturini Motorsports with 41 all-time ARCA Series victories has five team wins at Salem Speedway (Billy Venturini ’06, Steve Arpin ’10, Brennan Poole ’11, Kyle Benjamin ’13 and Christopher Bell ’16). Venturini Motorsports is tied for second with Harold Steele on the all-time ARCA Series team victory list. Larry Clement, who was teamed with Frank Kimmel for many years, leads the way with 71 team victories.
Of the team’s career victories, twenty-eight have come since 2008 with six drivers going to victory lane in their first ARCA start under the Venturini banner- Joey Logano ’08, Brennan Poole ’11, Alex Bowman ’11, Austin Theriault ’14, Todd Gilliland ’15 and Christopher Bell ’16.
Follow Zane Smith on Social Media @ZaneSmith77 (Twitter) ZaneSmithRacing (Facebook).
Golf Scramble, Hauler Parade, Friday Night Fan Fest
The Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing tops off two full days of celebration that kicks-off on Friday, Sept. 9 with a Golf Scramble, Hauler Parade and evening Fan Fest at the track.
Raceday also includes the Lucas Oil Great American Stocks alongside the stars and cars of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. ARCA Racing Series practice is from 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., followed by final practice from 1:45 – 2:30 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for 4 p.m. The 100th Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic starts at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night, September 10.
Credit: Venturini Motorsports