Zane Smith made a name for himself within the short track racing world by winning the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Super Late Model championship in 2015 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Nearly two years later, the driver from Huntington Beach, California will return to the track next weekend with hopes of winning the biggest race of his young racing career.
Smith has joined forces with Scott Neal Racing to compete in his first Florida Governor’s Cup next Sunday, November 13 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
“We were kind of just looking for something. We got ahold of him and we’re looking at our first race being at the Governor’s Cup,” Smith said of how the deal came together. “They’ve run well everywhere they’ve been so far this year so I don’t see why we shouldn’t not be good.”
Out of all the tracks that Smith has visited over the past two years while touring the country racing Super Late Models and ARCA Stock Cars, he says that New Smyrna remains one of his favorites.
Entering next weekend’s Florida Governor’s Cup, Smith has two wins (1 Super Late Model and 1 Pro Late Model) and eight top-five finishes in 14 career starts at New Smyrna.
“I really like these next two tracks we go to,” Smith stated. “I’ve always loved Pensacola and I’ve always loved New Smyrna. I definitely like New Smyrna, any of those tracks that are similar like that I usually like them. I guess it brings you a lot more confidence going into that weekend compared to somewhere you haven’t been or somewhere you haven’t ran well at.”
Confidence is something that certainly wouldn’t hurt to have at this juncture of the season. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Smith has been fast nearly everywhere he’s gone but has been bitten by bad luck.
“Like we just did that Fury deal down at Hickory and the thing was unreal until we broke a rear end as we were leading. It’s like the bad luck just won’t stop,” Smith commented. “Honestly the biggest thing I want is just a win to bring some confidence back. Not really so much confidence, just to get rid of the bad luck. I feel like once we get that first win then the bad luck is gone and that will help so much.”
Although Smith made a name for himself by winning the seven-race points battle during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, he believes it’s much more enjoyable just racing for wins. That’s exactly what he plans to do in his first race with Scott Neal Racing.
“No matter where I’ve been all this year, I could care less about the points deal or track points or something,” Smith said. “I’m just going there to win and really nothing else. Those are the two biggest, the Governor’s Cup and the Derby, and hopefully all this bad luck will equal up to these two and we can get a win at both.”
Smith’s plans to run the Snowball Derby are not concrete at the moment, but he’s hoping that a strong run will help solidify those plans this weekend.
“From there on we’ll decide if we’re going to run the Derby and who we’re going to run it for,” Smith said.
Speed51.com will have live Trackside Now coverage of the 51st Annual Florida Governor’s Cup next weekend. Stay tuned to 51 throughout next week for more coverage leading into one of Florida’s most prestigious short track races.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com