Smith Scorches Competition at COTA, Wins at XPEL 225
After scorching the competition en route to a win at the XPEL 225 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), Zane Smith brought his fiery performance to Victory Lane, setting his truck ablaze in a memorable celebration that redefined “burnout.”
After short pitting and racing his way to the lead for the final 15 laps, Smith powered his No. 38 Front Row Motorsports machine to a 5.451-second victory over Kyle Busch.
“Obviously that pit call was everything. It’s a true testament to this team behind me,” Smith said. “Besides Victory Lane, today was pretty smooth for the most part.
“I feel like I didn’t leave a mark on it all race long. It didn’t catch on fire when I was in the truck, but I got out and there was white smoke, then all of a sudden there was black smoke all around. I’m probably in trouble after this one. I don’t know how many more burnouts I’m going to be able to do.”
The win marked back-to-back triumphs for Smith in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series at COTA. His Front Row Motorsports team is undefeated at the Austin, Texas circuit, with Todd Gilliland earning the win at the inaugural event in 2021.
While most of the field pitted before the final stage, Busch opted to stay out and take tires later in the race.
“You want the freshest tires at the end,” Busch said of his team’s decision. “We were playing the long game, but unfortunately the long game didn’t work. They got lucky today and got the win.”
Ben Rhodes was poised for a third-place finish before a parts failure on the final corner relegated him to 10th. Ty Majeski ultimately crossed the finish line in third, with Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain rounding out the top five.
Tickets for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix are on sale at NASCARatCOTA.com. Sunday tickets, which include the Darius Rucker pre-race concert, start at $70 for adults and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.
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