Trackin' Trucks: Season Finale at Phoenix

Photo credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

After two years of being a runner-up with GMS Racing, and in his first year with Front Row Motorsports, the regular-season point champion Zane Smith pulled his No. 38 Ford truck into Victory Lane in Phoenix last night to claim his trophy for being the Camping World Truck Series Champion of 2022. The win only came after a nail-biting overtime shootout between Smith and the defending champion #99 Ben Rhodes.

Besting the Toyota triumvirate of Ty Majeski, Rhodes and No.18 Chandler Smith (the other racers in the Championship 4), Zane also brought home the first ever NASCAR championship for Front Row.

Smith started the 2022 season with a bang, winning the season opener at Daytona. Heading into the final race, his record boasted three wins, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.

Smith qualified on the pole for the final race, and won both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

“I’m going to win this,” Zane Smith said he thought to himself in overtime. “There was no other option. I was either backing it in the fence wrecking, or I was leaving tonight with a championship trophy. There were no other options, and when I saw the 18 get underneath me I was worried that I got him too loose underneath me.

“Fortunately, he stayed off of me. I have a lot of respect for all three of (the other title contendors). It’s pretty impressive for some of the racing we’ve seen lately for us three to go at it that hard and that clean.” Smith admitted he was crying with joy during the final lap that saw him best Rhodes by only 0.236 seconds.

John Hunter Nemechek finished fourth last night, followed by Stewart Friesen in fifth. Grant Enfinger, Corey Heim, Tanner Gray, Kaden Honeycutt and Carson Hocevar made up the remainder of the top 10. Championship contender Majeski came home 20th after his spin that sent the race into eventual overtime.

Last night's race marks the final race ever with Camping World as the title sponsor. In 2023 the series returns to being the Craftsman Truck Series.

Trackin' Trucks: Season Finale at Phoenix Trackin' Trucks: Season Finale at Phoenix Reviewed by laweez on Saturday, November 05, 2022 Rating: 5