Christmas just came early for Zane Smith, courtesy of the folks over at Ford Motor Company. As a special surprise for winning the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Ford gifted Smith, who drives the No. 38 Ford F-150 for Front Row Motorsports, a brand-new Raptor. They even put a bow on it and everything. For a big-time Ford guy, it doesn't really get any better than that!
I?ve Always wanted a raptor since I was probably 14 years old. Tonight I got surprised with my championship gift from @Ford. So thankful and so proud to be in the ford family. pic.twitter.com/grMqKl5Spq
— Zane Smith (@zanesmith77) December 13, 2022
"I've always wanted a Raptor since I was probably 14 years old," Smith wrote on Twitter. "Tonight I got surprised with my championship gift from @Ford. So thankful and so proud to be in the Ford family."
Clearly, it pays to be the Truck Series champ. But, make no mistake: Zane Smith worked hard to get where he's at today. This past season, the 23-year-old Huntington Beach, California native racked up four wins and an additional 10 top-five finishes on the way to his first Truck Series title and the first for Front Row Motorsports. At the season finale race at Phoenix Raceway, Smith bested Ben Rhodes, the 2021 champ, by under a quarter of a second to take home the title.
"It means so much that I can't even describe it," Smith told Forbes back in November. "People don't understand how hard it is to get to the Championship 4. It's really hard to capitalize on that day."
"People are like, 'You just have to be better than the other three.' But typically, those other three are second, third and fourth. It comes down to winning a race. You have to go into the race with a mindset of this is a must-win. That's what we did and we fully executed. That's what makes me most proud."
Aside from gunning for a Truck Series championship repeat in 2023, Smith will also be running in several Cup races for FRM.
"I'm pretty stoked for that," Smith said. "It's going to be a lot of fun, especially because I'm doing it with my truck team: my crew chief, my engineer, my car chief, everybody who's on my truck will be on my Cup car as well. We're going to be learning together."
In a couple months, Smith will be running on all cylinders to make sure that everyone in the NASCAR community knows that 2022 wasn't just a fluke. But, until then, he's got some time to enjoy the off-season and burn some rubber in his badass-looking new truck.
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