Trackin’ Trucks: Zane Smith Nabs Win During Rain-Shortened Event at Daytona

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 

Zane Smith secured the season opener victory at Daytona International Speedway. The event was called after 79 of the scheduled 100 laps after a rain shower halted efforts to dry the track. 

Smith gained the lead for the second and final time on Lap 65, before the fifth rain shower of the night. It was Smith’s second straight year winning the season opener at the 2.5-mile track. 

“I tried tried to play that race as smart as possible,” Smith said. “When it was getting really aggressive, I was getting out of it. I knew these patches of rain were a thing in our Ford meeting earlier in the day. I didnt think it would stick around for this long.

“I just wanted to be there after Stage 2 was over. You never know what can happen. A huge, huge shoutout to all the race fans. I apologize so much that we couldnt go back racing for you all. Hopefully, well give you guys a good show tomorrow (in Saturdays NASCAR Xfinity Series race), and Ill be out there Sunday—so super excited about that.”

Smith’s start in Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be his first start in the prestigious event. 

Tanner Smith finished second. He was involved in two multicar wrecks, but only suffered minor damage. Christian Eckes finished third, with Colby Howard and Grant Enfinger rounding out the top five. 

Ty Majeski finished sixth and Tyler Ankrum finished in the seventh position, while Corey Heim, Matt Crafton, and Chase Elliott finished eighth through 10th place, respectively. 

Clay Greenfield lost control of his No. 84 Toyota on Lap 28, creating a six-vehicle accident, including Hailie Deegan and Dean Thompson. This was the first stoppage for on-track action. 

“I saw the 84 (Greenfield) sideways and that was pretty much that,” Deegan said. “I saw him going down the track, so I went up.  It was a split-second decision. You just go right or left, and they ended up bouncing back up off another truck, so it is what it is. We know that Daytona is one of those races where you either finish in the top 10 or you end up on the trailer home.”

Rajah Caruth was dealt a similar fate after losing control of his No. 24 Chevrolet. He attempted to go through the middle of the field but ended up creating a multicar accident. He finished in the 29th position. 

Shortly after the caution for the incident, rain interrupted the NextEra Energy 250 for the third time, with more droplets falling than during the first two rain cautions. 

Ben Rhodes spun the No. 52 of Stewart Friesen on Lap 58, but Stewart later took the blame, claiming it was a late block gone wrong. 

Eckes was the Stage 1 winner of the night, while Ankrum earned Stage 2. 

A Look Ahead 

The Craftsman Truck Series has one week off before returning on Friday, March 3rd at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Chandler Smith won the event one year ago, over Kyle Busch and Friesen. 

Don’t miss the action on March 3rd at 9 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. 


Trackin’ Trucks: Zane Smith Nabs Win During Rain-Shortened Event at Daytona  Trackin’ Trucks: Zane Smith Nabs Win During Rain-Shortened Event at Daytona Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Saturday, February 18, 2023 Rating: 5