In the first eight races of 2023, reigning NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion Zane Smith scored two victories and three other podium finishes.
After his third-place run at Kansas, however, the season soured. In his last three starts, Smith has finished 22nd (Darlington), 32nd (North Wilkesboro) and 23rd (Charlotte).
Hence, Smith is looking for a significant turnaround in Saturday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway, the second leg of the Triple Truck Challenge (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
To do so, he’ll have to avoid the litany of mistakes that have hurt him in the last three races.
“Darlington for one, having engine issues, and then kind of rebound at North Wilkesboro and had such a good truck after starting in the back and driving up to second, and then me speeding on pit road during that final stop frustrated me even more,” Smith said.
“Then we went into Charlotte, and I knew how important clean air was on the truck and we had a parts failure of gear oils spraying the rear tires while running the truck race. I’m not blaming that on why I spun out, but I don’t think that really helped.
“We got to third in the truck race and spun out in front of the field and got more damage, so my truck guys have been working their butts off trying to fix all these trucks and trying to stay competitive.”
Corey Heim won last year’s CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway from the pole. Ben Rhodes won the first Triple Truck Challenge race and a $50,000 bonus May 26 at Charlotte. A second win at Gateway would be worth $150,000 to the driver of the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY. REDNECK!