When Zane Smith began competing in BMX at age 3, he thought about pursuing motorcycle or even off-road racing, but he eventually turned to Legend cars and that led him from his California home to North Carolina.
Today, the 15-year-old Huntington Beach, Calif., native lives in Maiden, and drives a super late model for Mooresville-based Crooks Racing. With only four super late model starts entering 2015, Smith surprised everyone in February by claiming the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing super late model title at New Smyrna, Fla., Speedway. He now leads the Pro All Stars Series South Super Late Model Touring Series standings, having won two of the season’s first five events.
He also has recorded four top-five and five top-10 finishes and on one occasion was the fastest qualifier. His second PASS victory this season came in the series’ most recent outing at Concord Speedway. The Old Glory 125 marked the first time Concord’s half-mile track had hosted an event in nearly three years and the triangle-shaped speedway was unlike anything Smith had seen.
“That place is really weird and extremely fast,” Smith said. “That’s the fastest track I’ve ever been on. I thought it was pretty cool. We didn’t have the fastest car. (The crew was) worried about our speed and the car. I told them we’d be fine because we were consistently fast and that’s what matters the most.”
Never miss a local story.
Smith took the lead for good with 11 laps remaining. He’ll try to make it three consecutive victories June 6 when PASS South travels to South Boston, Va., Speedway. However, he doesn’t intend to confine himself to the PASS South Series. Plans call for him to also compete in CARS super late model events and in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Bojangles Summer Shootout Series, which begins June 9. He’ll once again compete in the Pro Legend Division where he’s won more than 60 races.
“We won’t run for the (Summer Shootout) championship, but we’ll run as many (races) as we can,” says Smith, whose Legend car is prepared by Chase Pistone. “We’ll just look at the calendar and see where we have some free time.”
Smith said it wasn’t too difficult to leave California, but admitted that sometimes he gets a “little bored because I don’t really have anyone to hang out with.”
“But I like it way more here. I like racing every weekend,” Smith said.
Smith’s father is the manager of Terrible Herbst Motorsports’ off-road race team and tries to commute to North Carolina from California to watch his son race. The teenager lives in Maiden with his mother and is homeschooled.
Victory for Conner
Kodie Conner led all 50 laps in the PASS South Pro Late Model race at Concord Speedway to claim his fourth victory this season. The Kannapolis resident also leads the PASS Pro Late Model standings.
Furr finishes second
Harrisburg’s Steve Furr was the runner-up in the IHRA Good Vibrations Top Dragster class in the recent event at Union County, S.C., Dragway. The winner was Tyler Mosley of Inman, S.C.
In the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Furr leads the Top Dragster Division 2 standings and is second in the Super Gas Division 2 points. In the NHRA’s Top Dragster national standings heading into June, Furr was second, just two points behind leader Jesse Adams of Yuba City, Calif. Furr was fourth in the NHRA’s Super Gas national standings.
Summer Rental League Begins
GoPro Motorplex’s Summer Rental League’s first round is scheduled to begin June 3 at the Mooresville facility.
The five-week, Wednesday night series will feature rental kart light and heavy divisions. It also will include a three-week championship for the new masters division created for drivers 40 years and older.
Victory to Burton
Huntersville’s Harrison Burton, who finished second in the Memorial Day weekend Mobile 100, was awarded the victory after race winner Bubba Pollard was disqualified.
Pollard dominated the Southern Super Series event at Mobile, Ala., International Raceway. However, he was disqualified for an engine intake violation in post-race inspection. Pollard’s disqualification provided Kannapolis’ Daniel Hemric with a second-place finish. Hemric is second in the series standings.
The victory is the first for Burton in the Southern Super Series and his third super late model win. It’s his first victory with new crew chief Chris Wimmer. Burton is the 14-year-old son of former NASCAR driver and now NBC analyst Jeff Burton.
Ferguson Wins All-Star Race
Carson Ferguson, the defending Legend Young Lions asphalt national champion, won the Legend All-Star race held at Charlotte Motor Speedway during May race weeks.
Ferguson, who lives with his father in Coulwood when he’s racing but attends Independence High School, called the event “one of the biggest races of my life.”
Deb Williams is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Deb? Email her at email@example.com.