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Trackhouse signs Truck champ Zane Smith to full-time Cup ride

Reigning NASCAR Truck champion Zane Smith will move full-time to the Cup Series next season with Trackhouse Racing.

Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks confirmed Saturday that the organization has signed Smith to a multi-year contract to compete in the Cup series beginning next season.

With Trackhouse currently only holding two charters in the Cup series – which guarantee teams a spot in each Cup race field – Trackhouse will field Smith in team whose charter will be purchased by Spire Motorsports.

“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,” Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson said in a statement.

“This cooperative agreement is also proof-positive of the hard work of everyone at Spire Motorsports. We’re looking at a watershed moment for our organization that further demonstrates our commitment to the sport.”

The partnership with Spire allows Trackhouse to get Smith into a Cup ride in 2024 instead of waiting to purchase its own charter to expand its current two-car operation.

“Expansion is not something to be taken lightly, but we feel Trackhouse is commercially and technically positioned for growth,” said Marks. “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.”

Smith was visibly emotional when first introduced at Saturday’s news conference.

“It’s a huge day,” Smith said as he fought back tears. “It’s been a crazy road. It just means the world to me. This is the place I want to be.”

Smith, 24, has made seven career Cup series starts. He made his debut in 2022 at Gateway with RFK Racing and competed this season for both Front Row Motorsports and Rick Ware Racing. His best finish was 10th in this year’s Coca-Cola 600.

“This is an incredible moment for me,” said Smith. “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.”

In 89 career Truck starts, Smith, a native of Huntington Beach, Calif., has nine wins – including two this season at Daytona and Circuit of the Americas, 35 top-five and 57 top-10 finishes. He’s also won three poles.

Smith also has 12 Xfinity Series starts to his credit, with a best finish of fifth (twice) with JR Motorsports in 2019.

“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 said.

“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.”

 

Trackhouse has also signed three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen to a driver development deal for next season that will see him compete in all three NASCAR national series – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

Marks said whether Trackhouse will look to field three or four full-time Cup programs in 2025 will depend on SVG’s progress.

Midway through the 2021 season, Trackhouse bought the NASCAR assets of Chip Ganassi Racing and began the 2022 season as its own two-car team with Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain as drivers.

Chastain gave the organization its first victory at Circuit of the Americas last season. Suárez became the first Mexican driver to win a Cup race with his victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway last year.

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