NASCAR Truck Series driver Zane Smith wins championship in overtime thriller, says ‘Third time’s a charm’

It took overtime in his third attempt for Zane Smith to finally win a NASCAR championship.

Smith held off reigning Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes and Chandler Smith in a two-lap overtime sprint Friday night to win at Phoenix Raceway and at last win the series title.

Smith finished second in the championship finale the last two years, and left Phoenix following his 2021 defeat without a job. He was picked up by Front Row Motorsports and delivered the Ford team its first Truck championship.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Zane Smith’s Ford passes Layne Riggs during a NASCAR Truck Series race Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

“Third time’s a charm,” Smith said. “I was crying that whole lost lap. For so long I’ve wanted this moment, all my life. That’s all I’ve got.”

Smith won the first two stages but a slow pit stop ahead of the final stage dropped him into traffic and forced him to work his way back to the front. Then a series of cautions took the race out of Smith’s control.

22 IN ’22? NASCAR NUMEROLOGY ALIGNS FOR JOEY LOGANO AHEAD OF CHAMPIONSHIP RACE

He took four tires on a later caution and it dropped Smith to 11th in the field. Rhodes, meanwhile, took two tires and left pit road leading the four title contenders.

Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, Ty Majeski and Ben Rhodes, from left, pose with the trophy before the NASCAR Truck Series auto race Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Avondale.

Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, Ty Majeski and Ben Rhodes, from left, pose with the trophy before the NASCAR Truck Series auto race Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Avondale.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Rhodes took the lead with seven to go, the same lap Smith made his way to second on four new tires. Then a spin by championship contender Ty Majeski, as the playoff drivers ran first through fourth, sent the race to overtime.

Smith chose to restart on the inside behind Rhodes, and Chandler Smith in third quickly moved up to the open spot on the front row for the restart. Zane Smith immediately made it three-wide to take the lead and win his fourth race of the season, and finally a title.

ROSS CHASTAIN’S TEAMMATE EXPLAINS THE TRULY ‘CRAZY’ PART OF HIS MARTINSVILLE MOVE

Zane Smith drives during the NASCAR Truck Series race Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona.

Zane Smith drives during the NASCAR Truck Series race Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

“I wasn’t going to let it go down like that,” Zane Smith said of potentially finishing second for a third consecutive year.

“I was wrecking or winning this thing, There was no other option.”

Rhodes finished second in near defense of his title.

“I’m going to mope all the way back to Kentucky,” said the Toyota driver.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Chandler Smith finished third in his final race with Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota. Busch is moving his trucks to Chevrolet next season and Chandler Smith will race in the Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing and Chevy.

Majeski fell to 20th after spinning trying to make a pass for the win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Telegram
WhatsApp
© Copyright 1996 – 2022, Total News LLC | Terms |  Privacy  | Support