NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It was a long time coming for Zane Smith, but it was well worth the wait.
On the heels of three runner-up finishes in 2017 in the ARCA Racing Series, Smith put it all together Saturday night at Tennessee’s Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, winning the Music City 200.
Smith passed his MDM Motorsports teammate Sheldon Creed with 20 laps to go and drove away to a 10-length lead for his career-first series win.
“I knew it was going to come down to me and Sheldon…I think you’re going to see that battle a lot this year,” said Smith. “I can tell you coming to the white flag my legs were shaking. I forgot how to get to victory lane, it’s been so long.”
MDM Motorsports swept the top-three positions with Creed in second and Harrison Burton in third.
“That’s all props to MDM Motorsports,” Smith added. “Mardy (Lindley, crew chief) got this thing golden tonight. It was on rails all night. Pit road…they killed it. We never lost a spot.”
Creed beat Smith on the last restart to lead 12 laps but couldn’t muster up the juice to hold off the eventual winner.
“Super happy with our run tonight,” said Creed. “I feel like the short tracks have been my weakness so this feels really good. Congrats to Zane on his first win. Hopefully our first win is coming soon. ARCA is the hardest first win I’ve ever tried to get. I feel like we’ve got some really good momentum right now…third at Daytona and second here.”
Burton charged from the 25th starting position to finish third.
“It was tough,” said Burton. “We made some really good changes throughout the day. This MDM team really fights hard…digging deep when you think you’re down. Really proud of my teammate Zane Smith…he’s a heck of a wheelman. For our whole team to finish one-two-three…that’s really hard to do in ARCA.”
Michael Self, who led seven laps, flirted with the leaders all night, finishing fourth for Venturini Motorsports.
“It’s a fun place to race, that’s for sure,” said Self. “You really have to adapt a lot. This place changes all night. Overall, a really good night. We just got to go back and figure out how to beat those MDM cars.”
Fifteen-year-old Chandler Smith won the General Tire Pole with a new track record and led the first 51 laps before he got shuffled back during pit stops. The Jasper, Georgia rookie spent most of the race battling back, finishing fifth.
Tyler Dippel, Chase Purdy, Christian Eckes, Brandon Grosso and Bret Holmes completed the top-10, respectively.
The next event for the ARCA Racing Series is the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway coming April 22.
ARCA Racing Series
Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville – Nashville TN
Music City 200 – April 7, 2018
1. Zane Smith
2. Sheldon Creed
3. Harrison Burton
4. Michael Self
5. Chandler Smith
6. Tyler Dippel
7. Chase Purdy
8. Christian Eckes
9. Brandon Grosso
10. Bret Holmes
11. Natalie Decker
12. Ryan Repko
13. Riley Herbst
14. Thad Moffitt
15. Travis Braden
16. Joseph Graf, Jr.
17. Gus Dean
18. Thomas Praytor
19. Rick Clifton
20. Eric Caudell
21. Joe Cooksey
22. Brad Smith
23. Con Nicolopoulos
24. Will Kimmel
25. D.L. Wilson
26. Mike Basham