GMS Racing announced Tuesday that Zane Smith will drive full time for the organization in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series next season.
Smith spent last season in a part-time effort with JR Motorsports, recording seven top-10 finishes in 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in its No. 8 Chevrolet. The 20-year-old driver will campaign for Sunoco Rookie of the Year. The team said that sponsorship arrangements and a truck number would be announced at a later date.
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GMS also announced veteran Kevin “Bono” Manion will serve as the team’s crew chief. Manion spent last season as crew chief for DGR-Crosley’s No. 17 Toyota, which was driven in 18 races by Tyler Ankrum.
Smith and Manion have already paired for one race together — Smith’s lone Gander Trucks start in 2018 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. That effort yielded a fifth-place finish for DGR-Crosley’s No. 54 entry.
“When I got the offer from Mike Beam asking me to run a truck full-time for GMS Racing, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Smith said in a statement provided by the team. “GMS is a Championship caliber team and to be a part of an organization like theirs is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with Manion again. He has a lot of experience and I know we will be a great team.”
Smith is a product of the NASCAR Next youth initiative. He won four ARCA Menards Series races in 2018 on the way to a runner-up finish in the season standings.