Zane Smith signs long-term deal with Trackhouse Racing

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Zane Smith, one of the top prospects in NASCAR, has signed a long-term deal with Trackhouse Racing and will compete full time in the Cup Series starting next season.

He won’t drive in 2024 for Trackhouse, instead being assigned to Spire Motorsports, which will expand to a three-car organization as it is purchasing the charter (NASCAR’s version of a franchise) currently owned by Live Fast Motorsports.

Both organizations are Chevrolets, a change for Smith, who has driven for Ford for several years, including winning the 2022 Truck Series championship while driving for Front Row Motorsports.

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The 24-year-old Smith drove select Cup races for Front Row this year and his 10th-place finish in the Coke 600 at Charlotte in May was a performance that convinced Trackhouse officials to make a push to sign him.

Zane Smith talks about what it means to compete in the Cup Series

Zane Smith spoke about what it means to compete full time in the Cup Series with the Trackhouse and Spire alliance in 2024.

“It’s been a crazy road,” Smith said. “It just means the world to me. I almost didn’t have anything a couple of years ago and this is like the place I want to be. … I’m ready to compete on Sunday.” 

Spire currently fields Cup cars for Corey LaJoie and Ty Dillon. LaJoie signed an extension earlier this year. Dillon is not expected to return next year as truck series driver Carson Hocevar is the top candidate to replace Dillon.

With the signing of Smith, Trackhouse now has four drivers under contract and only two full-time cars with current drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez. It announced this week that it had signed three-time Supercar champion Shane van Gisbergen, who won in his Cup debut earlier this year on the first-ever race on the Chicago street course, to a development contract.

Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks said his organization hopes to expand to a third car in 2025. He indicated Smith would be in one of the in-house cars. The alliance with Spire could continue to be a spot for a Trackhouse driver beyond 2024.

“It’s no small feat to grow to a third team,” Marks said. “We have to be very methodical and cerebral.” 

No sponsor, car number nor crew chief was announced for Smith.

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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