Zane Smith and Crooks Racing have parted ways effective immediately. Speed51.com has learned. The team of Smith and Crooks finished 26th in Saturday’s Southern Super Series finale at Five Flags Speedway (Pensacola, FL) after an opening-lap crash.
During the past two seasons, Smith and Crooks Racing have won five races together. The combination also produced other accolades, including the 2015 Super Late Model Championship at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) and a second-place finish in last year’s Snowball Derby.
Crooks Racing is now currently examining their possibilities for the remainder of 2016.
The 17-year-old Smith has made two starts in the ARCA Racing Series for Venturini Motorsports. He told Speed51.com powered by JEGS that he is looking to make more stock-car starts in 2017.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Zane Smith asked Speed51.com to change his quote from the original story as of 11:36 a.m. ET on Thursday, September 27, 2016. The following is the revised quote:
"We're just wanting to try something different," Smith said. "We're hoping to do some more ARCA stuff next year."
Smith and Crooks had submitted an entry for the All American 400 at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville this weekend, but Smith said now he will not be racing that event.
Crooks Racing team owner Gary Crooks insists there’s no ill-will towards Smith from his side of things.
“We wish Zane the absolute best in all of his future racing endeavors,” said Crooks. “It has been a pleasure to work with such a talented young man. We have accomplished a lot since he started at the beginning of the 2015 season and know he will continue to excel as he climbs the ladder in his racing career.”
Smith was also adamant that there are no hard feelings on his side, and reiterated that this move was more about saving money than anything else and that he also just wanted to “try something else.”
“I loved being with them,” Smith said. “We won a lot of races together. I’m still definitely going to be cool with Gary and all of the guys and everything. This is really just to try something different.”
Speed51.com will have more updates about both parties when it becomes available.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com