Zane Smith
(HHP/Tom Copeland)

Zane Smith Dominates In Kansas Truck Win

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In one of the more uneventful NASCAR Truck Series races in recent memory, Zane Smith put together his most dominating performance yet to win Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway.

The Front Row Motorsports driver led a career-best 108 of 134 laps, including the final eight-lap sprint to the checkered flag.

He beat Ty Majeski by 1.6 seconds for his third win of the season and the sixth of his career. He did so in a race that saw only two non-stage break cautions, none of which were for a multi-car incident.

“This was our Vegas truck and I feel like this is kind of what we would have seen at Vegas if I didn’t get caught up in (an) incident,” said Smith, who led 15 laps at Las Vegas and finished in the top five before he was disqualified for an inspection failure. “I told (crew chief) Chris (Lawson) after walking back to the garage after Vegas kind of dejected, that I had gotten ganged up on by the (Kyle Busch Motorsports) trucks and then lost that one and it was just such a good truck since we unloaded. … I told him in Vegas ‘if we bring what we had here tonight there should be no reason I don’t win Kansas,’ just because rubber gets laid down more and you move around a lot more and you have a opportunity to kind of pull away.”

May 14, 2022:  at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (HHP/Chris Owens)
Zane Smith leads Corey Heim during Saturday’s Truck Series race. (Photo: HHP/Chris Owens)

Majeski, who earned the best finish of his career, called Smith the “class of the field.”

“There were maybe times where he was vulnerable late in a run, maybe a couple of those runs early in the race I could pace him late,” Majeski said. “But I could just not fire off on restarts. Just really battled traffic.”

Majeski’s result was helped on the final restart when John Hunter Nemechek, who restarted second out the outside, failed to fire off and stacked up the field behind him.

It was Majeski’s third top five of the season and his Truck Series career, which now totals 28 starts.

The top five was completed by Grant Enfinger, Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes.

The final run to the finish was setup by a caution with 13 laps to go when Dean Thompson spun off of Turn 2, though he avoided sliding into the inside wall.

The first non-stage break caution waved with 44 laps to go for debris. That eliminated an over three-second lead for Smith over Corey Heim.

Heim’s team was able to get him off pit road ahead of Zane Smith.

However, Heim didn’t last there long, as Smith quickly jumped out to the lead on the restart with 39 laps to go. Heim rapidly slipped backwards to seventh within three laps. With 35 laps to go, Heim bounced off the outside wall exiting Turn 2. Heim’s night was officially derailed when he cut down a right-side tire with 28 laps to go.

Though Nemechek started from the pole, he slipped back to fifth by the end of the first stage break as Smith commanded most of the first 25 laps.

Heim took the lead with nine laps to go and had a five-second lead over second place Ty Majeski by the time the stage ended.

After 25 laps, Heim led over Majeski, Zane Smith, Chandler Smith and Nemechek.

“I was a little worried after the first stage just because how much I feel like we fell off,” Zane Smith said. “It’s a really weird in-between racetrack at that time with the sun going down but the track temp is still up. So we fired off really good, honestly, probably too good. And then I don’t know, Lap 20 we come around and we just get really, really tight.”

In the second stage, Zane Smith needed only five laps before he took the lead again. He’d go unchallenged to the second stage break, claiming it over Heim, Nemechek, Majeski, Ben Rhodes and Carson Hocevar.

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