Zane Smith in, Buescher out for inaugural Cup Series event at Gateway due to COVID-19

Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing announced a shakeup to one of its two-driver roster for this weekend’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. 

Chris Buescher, coming off his wild rollover wreck during last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will not be competing at Gateway due to testing positive for COVID-19. With Buescher absent, Zane Smith, a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor for Front Row Motorsports, will be piloting Buescher’s No. 17 Acronis Ford Mustang on a one-race deal for this upcoming weekend.

Smith, a 22-year-old native from Huntington Beach, California, will be making his inaugural presence in the Cup Series, having made 11 previous starts in the Xfinity Series, 38 starts in the ARCA Menards Series and 56 starts in the Camping World Truck Series. He is currently campaigning in his third full-time season in the Truck Series, but first with Front Row Motorsports following a two-year run with GMS Racing. 

Through the first 10 scheduled Truck events, Smith has achieved three victories (Daytona International Speedway in February, Circuit of the Americas in March and Kansas Speedway in May), five top-five results and eight top-10 results as he is ranked in third place in the regular season standings as he pursues his first NASCAR national touring series championship.

With Smith filling in for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing at Gateway, Buescher will set his sights for his return next weekend at Sonoma Raceway scheduled for June 12.

Zane Smith is set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut at World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday, June 5, with the event’s coverage to occur at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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