Zane Smith will check another new track off his bucket list as he heads to Anderson Speedway (IN) this Saturday for the ARCA/CRA Super Series 125-lap event. The 16-year-old driver entered the year with very high expectations, but has had an up and down start to his 2016 campaign. Fresh off a third-place run in the Southern Super Series event at Five Flags Speedway (FL) last weekend, Smith feels this could be the weekend things turn around.
“It hasn’t been the start of the year we wanted because of running a different chassis and just a rough start,” Smith told Speed51.com powered by JEGS, “But we had a good run at Pensacola and we are back so I’d expect some wins to start coming.”
Another obstacle Smith has had to overcome early in the season is driving with a broken finger. Smith broke his left pinky finger in an incident he calls “embarrassing,” when he tripped over a tight rope while at the Trampoline Park with his teammate. The finger was on the mend until Smith broke it again last weekend in the tech line at Pensacola. Still swollen and painful, it’s just another early obstacle for the young driver to overcome.
“What’s making it tough is that I can’t bend it all the way,” said Smith. “So while all my other fingers are around the wheel my pinky is straight and it’s basically impossible to bend since it’s broken at the knuckle.”
The broken finger didn’t seem to hinder his top-three finish last weekend at Pensacola, but that good finish is one of few he’s had this season. While his No. 77 machine seems to always be fast, Smith has just three top-five finishes to show for his efforts.
Despite the rocky start, which has included five flat tires inside of 15 laps to go, the Huntington Beach, California driver knows it’s important to always find the positives. Especially if he hopes to equal last year’s total of five Super Late Models wins and one championship.
“I stay positive because you gotta think back to everything I’ve accomplished in the past,” said Smith “When we are struggling it’s just because we are in a hole and we always will find a way out if everyone has a positive attitude.”
“Success to this weekend just like any other weekend, a win,” said Smith. “We are still looking for our first Super Late Model win of 2016 and hopefully Anderson will be the place.”
In order to come out on top at Anderson, Smith will need to take down a tough field that includes current ARCA/CRA Super Series point leader Cody Coughlin, Florida racer Dalton Sargeant, defending JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion Dalton Armstrong and many others.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series 125 gets underway with qualifying at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Speed51.com will have live Trackside Now coverage of the event for those unable to watch the intense racing action in Anderson, Indiana.
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @Jwimm22
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Daryl Canfield