Zane Smith began watching races from Dover International Speedway when he was in elementary school, seeing stars like Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter have success on the one-mile, high-banked concrete oval.
On Friday, the 21-year-old rookie was racing alongside – and passing – those veterans of the sport and earned his own place in Monster Mile history.
Smith, driving the No. 21 Chevrolet for GMS Racing, topped Crafton by 0.989 seconds to win the “KDI Office Technology 200” NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race for his second victory of the season and gained a $50,000 bonus as part of the Triple Truck Challenge.
“I’ve watched this place since I was 7 years old,” Smith said. “I made my debut here in a Xfinity Series car last year. “I love how you have to search around and look for grip. It’s a lot of fun. I always circle this place on the calendar, whenever I get the chance to run here.”
Smith completed the 200 miles in 1 hour, 48 minutes and 21 seconds for an average speed of 110.752 miles per hour while dodging five caution periods that consumed 27 laps.
The competitive event saw a track record 10 drivers lead at least one lap, several two- and three-wide battles for position and Smith and teammate Brett Moffitt leading a race-high 50 laps apiece.
Smith and Moffitt were in the front row for the final restart which came out after a Stewart Friesen spin on Lap 193. Smith chose the outside lane, got a great jump when the green flag waved on Lap 198 and slid in front of Moffitt entering the first turn.
“I knew that was going to be the winning move,” Smith said. “We put on a good show that final stage. We have a really stout team this year.”
Crafton passed Moffitt for second, followed by Todd Gilliland in fourth and Ben Rhodes in fifth. Sauter, who had won the last three Truck Series races at Dover, placed sixth.
“This is the most confident I’ve ever been,” said Smith, who led the race’s final 33 laps. “I grew up watching Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter. To race with them and compete with them is pretty cool.”
Smith’s win completed the opening day of Dover’s event schedule, believed to be the first time in NASCAR history that one track is hosting six points-paying events across one weekend of racing. It includes the “Drydene Doubleheader Weekend” on Saturday and Sunday, featuring a NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader each day, with all four races on NBCSN.
On Saturday, Aug. 22, the “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series race takes the green flag at 12:30 p.m., followed by the “Drydene 311” NASCAR Cup Series race at 4 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 23, the “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series race begins at 1 p.m., followed by the “Drydene 311” NASCAR Cup Series race at 4 p.m.
The NASCAR weekend at Dover International Speedway is taking place without fans due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Follow Speedway news and updates on DoverSpeedway.com and keep track of Dover’s latest announcements via social media at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.
Dover International Speedway PR