The reigning NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Zane Smith is set to establish his mark in NASCAR’s premier series for the 2024 season after inking a multi-year driving deal with Trackhouse Racing that will feature Smith driving for Spire Motorsports in an alliance with Trackhouse in next year’s Cup Series season.
The news comes as Smith, a 24-year-old native from Huntington Beach, California, is currently campaigning in his fourth full-time season in the Truck Series and second with Front Row Motorsports with his future initially uncertain beyond this season. The news also comes amid a report from The Athletic that Spire Motorsports purchased Live Fast Motorsport’s charter for $40 million that would enable an opportunity for the organization in conjunction with Trackhouse to field a Cup ride for Smith, who will campaign in his first full-time season against NASCAR’s elite and future stars in 2024.
“This is an incredible moment for me,” Smith, who will officially join Trackhouse in January 2024, said in a released statement. “Trackhouse is one of the most progressive organizations in the garage. I told some friends a year ago that I wanted to be a part of what Trackhouse is doing and I just can’t believe this is all coming true. I am very excited and thankful to have a future with the organization.”
Commencing his racing career with BMX and go-karts before ascending up the racing ladder through various racing divisions, among which include legends cars, super late models and CARS Tour, Smith established his mark during the 2018 ARCA Menards Series season, where he achieved four victories and a runner-up result in the final standings while driving for MDM Motorsports. Smith proceeded to make 10 career starts in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, where he achieved seven top-10 results, before spending the following two seasons in the Truck Series for GMS Racing, where he notched three victories and two runner-up results in the final standings. He would then join Front Row Motorsports for the 2022 Truck season, where he notched four victories, including the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, and the series championship after winning the season finale at Phoenix Raceway, which marked the first NASCAR championship for Smith and Front Row Motorsports.
During the 2022 season, Smith made his inaugural presence in the NASCAR Cup Series level at Worldwide Technology Raceway as an interim competitor for Chris Buescher and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, where he finished 17th. Since then, he has made six Cup starts this season between Front Row Motorsports and Rick Ware Racing, where his current best on-track result is a 10th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.
Through September 2023, Smith has garnered nine Truck career victories and four ARCA wins as he aims to hone his competitiveness towards the Cup Series division in 2024.
“The Cup series is the pinnacle of racing in America, and I cannot wait to compete, learn and hone my skills against the best in the world,” Smith added. “I am really looking forward to working with the Spire Motorsports team in 2024 and believe the alliance with Trackhouse will help continue Spire’s ascent up the grid.”
Smith’s addition to Trackhouse Racing marks another milestone moment for the organization that made its debut in 2021 as a single-car team with Daniel Suarez and has since expanded to new heights on an annual basis, from becoming a two-car team by adding Ross Chastain in 2022 to fielding a part-time PROJECT91 entry on a part-time basis while giving international racing stars an opportunity to compete in NASCAR.
Through September 2023, Trackhouse Racing has achieved five Cup victories: three with Chastain, one with Suarez and one with three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen. Gisbergen, who won at the Chicago Street Course while driving for Trackhouse’s PROJECT91 program in his NASCAR debut in July and was signed by Trackhouse two days earlier, is already set to compete across various NASCAR national series and late model events in 2024 as Trackhouse aims to field three full-time Cup entries in 2025.
“Expansion is not something to be taken lightly, but we feel Trackhouse is commercially and technically positioned for growth,” Justin Marks, owner and founder of Trackhouse, said. “You need good timing, very good partners and great drivers. Adding Zane is like signing the No. 1 draft pick and we are proud that he is now a member of the Trackhouse family.”
The collaboration with Trackhouse Racing and Zane Smith marks another milestone moment for Spire Motorsports, which debuted in 2018 and currently fields two full-time entries in the Cup Series and a part-time entry between the Xfinity and Truck Series divisions. The team achieved its first Cup victory at Daytona International Speedway in July 2019 with Justin Haley and has since notched two Truck victories between 2022 and 2023 with Hendrick Motorsports drivers William Byron and Kyle Larson.
“Spire Motorsports will acquire a NASCAR charter from Live Fast Motorsports prior to the 2024 season and we’re thrilled to offer our support to Trackhouse Racing, a key member of the Chevrolet family,” Jeff Dickerson, co-owner of Spire Motorsports, added. “Spire has a longstanding relationship with Justin Marks and we are proud of everything he and all the men and women at Trackhouse have accomplished in a relatively short time. This cooperative agreement is also proof-positive of the hard work of everyone at Spire Motorsports. We certainly wouldn’t be in this position without Mr. [Rick] Hendrick and the competition group at Hendrick Motorsports so we continue to be grateful for that relationship. T.J. [Puchyr] and I are also grateful to [Live Fast Motorsports’ owners] B.J. McLeod and Matt Tifft for working with us on the charter acquisition. We’re looking at a watershed moment for our organization that further demonstrates our commitment to the sport.”
With his future plans set, Smith’s quest to defend this year’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship continues at Talladega Superspeedway. The event is scheduled to occur on September 30 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1.