Smith Leads Chevrolet With Career-Best Runner-Up Finish at Nashville Superspeedway

NKP #71: Zane Smith, Spire Motorsports, Jockey Outdoors by Luke Bryan Chevrolet Camaro and #31: Daniel Hemric, Kaulig Racing, Cirkul Chevrolet Camaro

    In a race against fuel shortage, NASCAR Cup Series rookie, Zane Smith, battled through five overtime finishes to lead Chevrolet to the checkered flag with a runner-up finish in his No. 71 Jockey Outdoors by Luke Bryan Camaro ZL1. The result marked the Team Chevy driver’s career best finish in NASCAR’s top division.


·       Kyle Larson, the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural appearance at Nashville Superspeedway, led the Bowtie brand to the green-flag for the 300-lap event from the fourth position. 

·       The 31-year-old Elk Grove, California, native showed early speed in his No. 5 Camaro ZL1 – running steadily in the top-five through the first two stages of the race. Following a podium finish in Stage Two, issues on the right-rear during a pit stop at the stage break resulted in a loss of track position – putting the team in the 12th position for the start of the 115-lap final stage. Despite the pit road mishap and one of the many that fell short on fuel in the series of overtime finishes, Larson crossed the line in the eighth position. 

·       Three Chevrolet organizations were represented in the top-10 of the final running order, with Spire Motorsports’ Zane Smith leading Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson in the eighth position and Kaulig Racing’s Daniel Hemric in the ninth position.

·       The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season continues at the Chicago Street Course with the Grant Park 165 on Sunday, July 7, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on the NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 



2nd Zane Smith, No. 71 Jockey Outdoors by Luke Bryan Camaro ZL1

8th Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1

9th Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Cirkul Camaro ZL1


Ross Chastain, No. 1 Busch Light Country Camaro ZL1

Finished: 33rd

Tell us what happened there from your vantage point. 

“The Busch Light Country Chevy had a chance to win. It’s so cool to come back here to Nashville, the birthplace of Trackhouse, where Justin Marks moved his family and started this idea of this Cup team.  And to come back and have another shot to win is absolutely incredible for the Busch Light Country scheme and all of our partners at World Wide Express, Kubota, Moose and Jockey.”

Do you think that overtime restart was fair racing? 

“I’m just driving down into turn one and I knew if I hung on the 11’s right rear, I would have a shot to win.”

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1

Finished: 8th

Describe all that unfolded here at Nashville Superspeedway from your perspective. 

“Yeah, just a lot of craziness there at the end. There were a lot of cars short on fuel and we were one of them. Just a lot of mess. On the first restart, I was just trying to get Denny (Hamlin) washed off the bottom so that I could get some clean air and give myself an opportunity to win. I felt like from the second position, I wouldn’t have a chance. I just tried to run in with him and got myself really tight and into Ross (Chastain), so caused that crash. And then on the next restart, I just got out of shape and almost caused a crash there. On the third one, we ran out of fuel taking off. We just had a couple of good restarts right there at the end. Happy to get a top-10, but a little bit bummed how it transpired.” 

AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Celsius Camaro ZL1

Finished: 11th

“Long, hard fought day. I felt like as the race went on, we improved the race car. We weren’t able to get the track position there til the end. Unfortunately, that strategy didn’t work out. We were able to miss all the wrecks, get our lap back and make the most out of our day. Overall, something we can learn fun. Good finish for both cars. Good day for the race team.”

Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Cirkul Camaro ZL1

Finished: 9th

“Really today was just another example of our season. It’s been a roller coaster ride. We struggled with short-run speed all weekend on the No. 31 Cirkul Chevrolet. After the rain delay and a couple of good adjustments, I thought if we could get track position, we would be OK. We finally got it and got caught in a crash. I thought every corner was knocked off the car. Somehow, some way, the seas kept parting. We were able to have a couple of good restarts at the end and cross the line in ninth. What a weekend, but I’ll take it.”

Zane Smith, No. 71 Jockey Outdoors by Luke Byran Camaro ZL1

Finished: 2nd

If you told me one word that described your emotion, what was that? 

“Pissed. I mean, obviously so happy with the result. But when you hear for like 10 laps that ‘he is supposed to run out, he is supposed to run out’, and then you see him shaking the car across the line and you just finished second, that hurts. The winning side of it hurts, but just appreciate everyone at Spire Motorsports and appreciate the strategy there. I appreciate Jockey Outdoors and Luke Bryan; having them on board here in Nashville, along with all of our other partners. It’s been a rough, rough year, but this is a great momentum booster, confidence booster, all of the above. So, hopefully we can carry this on, but it was awesome to sniff your first Cup win.”

Did you have to race any differently on that last restart thinking that Joey Logano could run out of gas? 

“No, I mean you don’t ever know if you are going to have another shot at another Cup win, so you just try to execute the best you can. Nashville is so notorious for those kinds of restarts. Everyone floats up, so I just kept using the bottom there with our strategy and it kept working out. It just goes to show that everyone is just so good in the Cup Series, and if you have the track position, you can compete.”

Inside Track Communications PR

Spread the love