Wellcare (www.wellcare.com) will ride along with Smith during his first attempt at NASCAR’s most prestigious event. A subsidiary of Centene Corporation, Wellcare offers a wide range of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP).
Smith will pilot the No. 36 Wellcare Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports (FRM). This will be a third entry for the organization and be one of currently six open cars attempting to qualify for the race.
The Wellcare team will have two opportunities to lock themselves into the prestigious Daytona 500. The first will come during Daytona 500 qualifying on Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1. Smith can lock in by being one of the two fastest open cars to qualify on speed.
If Smith does not advance by his qualifying speed, he can do what he does best. Smith can race in by being the best finisher of open cars in his qualifying race on Thursday night.
Smith will have a familiar face leading the No. 36 Wellcare Ford team this week. Chris Lawson will serve as the crew chief of the team. Lawson will work with Seth Barbour, an experienced crew chief and race engineer during the week. Several FRM shop members and the truck team will also assist Smith in his attempt.
Lawson and Barbour have spent countless hours working with the FRM team members to prepare the car.
CREW CHIEF CHRIS LAWSON:
“We have one job to focus on right now and that’s to put Zane into the Daytona 500. At FRM, we’re leaning on the resources we have and the staff we have to put the car together. We also know strategy going into Wednesday and Thursday.
“I think we’re looking to give Zane the best driving car, the best handling car. We’ve seen what he can do when he needs to race under pressure. We just want to give him the best Mustang to do that on Thursday night. We can then focus on the 500 after that. But right now, it’s one step at a time.”
DRIVER ZANE SMITH:
“I’m just focused right now on getting into the race. I want to take each situation and each day as it comes. I’ve always been like that and it seems to work.
“I have a great team around me with Chris and some of the truck guys working with me. That makes me feel comfortable. I have a great partner with Wellcare, so we have the backing to do this the right way.
“I’ve been working with the guys on getting the car setup the way I want it at the shop. We can set the steering, the pedals, the seat, and feel comfortable inside the car. The rest is getting speed and then going out and racing it. I take it as a big challenge and I’m ready for it.”