Zane Smith will have a 15-point advantage heading into the playoffs. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Regular Season Title Not Altering Smith’s Focus In Playoffs

Zane Smith has been nearly perfect in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year.

Outside of his three victories, Smith has only two finishes outside the top 10, with one being a disqualification after finishing second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 To cap off the first 16 races, Smith cruised to his first regular season championship, one he had targeted since the beginning of the season. 

May 14, 2022:  at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (HHP/Chris Owens)
Zane Smith celebrates his victory at Kansas in May. (HHP/Chris Owens)

“To start out the year I had the regular season championship circled just because I feel like that is what kind of shows how one half of your year went, so I am happy we got that,” Smith said. “But in between there I feel like race wins are what people notice a ton and then to what you said I feel like just getting to Phoenix is a championship in its own. When that day comes it’s whoever is best that day, so if you could lock yourself in earlier than later, you get to put more attention on Phoenix and that goes a long way.”

Phoenix is on everyone’s mind, as the playoffs begin Friday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. 

Even though Smith will have a 15-point advantage over second-place Chandler Smith entering the first of eight playoff races, Smith feels there’s no room to get comfortable. 

“I think you kind of have to go about it as going for wins,” Smith said. “That points buffer will run out quickly. It doesn’t take much to fill up those spots, so I think we’re just gonna do what we’ve been doing for the rest of the year.  It’s worked out for us and we’ve shown a lot of consistency and I think that’s what you need to do in the playoffs to get to Phoenix.”

Even though making the final four in Phoenix is the ultimate goal for Smith and the Front Row Motorsports team, the driver of the No. 38 Ford believes that Kansas will be a crucial race for his team. Smith led 108 laps en route to victory at the 1.5-mile track in May.

“I would say it’s hard for us not to circle Kansas just with how our first Kansas went,” Smith said. “I felt like we kind of dominated that race, so if we could do half of that again, I’d be super happy because there’s way more on the line this time. That’s obviously the goal. I love going to Kansas regardless, so I’m excited for it.”

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