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Is There Room for Zane Smith at Trackhouse?

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What’s Happening?

Zane Smith is in his first NASCAR Cup Series season and has struggled mightily. He currently sits 34th in points, which is last among full-time drivers. However, a recent report from Bob Pockrass has questioned Smith’s future. What is going on with Zane Smith?

  • Zane Smith signed with Trackhouse last off-season as a development driver. This included spending one season on loan at Spire Motorsports while Trackhouse worked out how to integrate Smith fully. However, multiple things have happened.
  • Jordan Bianchi reported in late May that NASCAR is considering limiting teams to three charters per team. Nearly two weeks later, Pockrass reported that he could be the “Odd man out” on Trackhouse’s Cup Series team due to both the limit and Smith’s performance.
  • Fans aren’t exceptionally surprised at this. Smith has not performed well this season, but, what could Trackhouse’s plan for him be?

The Dilemma Trackhouse Finds Itself In

Circle B Diecast Block

Currently, Trackhouse has too many drivers under contract and not enough seats to put them in. Smith will not return to Spire in 2025, but, that was expected. It’s those around him that make his future foggy.

Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez are both in the Cup Series. Chastain is the team’s top driver, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. According to Jordan Bianchi, Daniel Suarez, and Trackhouse are currently working towards an extension. That’s two seats filled.

Then there’s Shane Van Gisbergen, who just won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland. He’s already a Cup Series winner on a road course, so, whenever he gets to Cup, he will be a Playoff threat.

If Trackhouse could be a four-car team, the solution would be easy. Slot SVG and Smith into the final two cars, and all problems are solved.

However, with the three-car team limit, Trackhouse has to choose between one or the other. SVG would probably get priority since he’s a Cup Series winner, leaving Smith out.

Now, that doesn’t mean Smith is out the door at Trackhouse. He could slot into the Xfinity Series somewhere through another partnership of some sort. Maybe with SVG moving up to Cup, Smith could be a fit at Kaulig Racing. Maybe even a Cup Series ride with Kaulig if Kaulig gets a charter, but that’s far-fetched for now.

However, Trackhouse has another driver to consider, Connor Zilisch. He performs well in every car he drives, with a pole in his first Truck Series start at COTA and a Rolex 24 Class win back in January. He also happens to be a development driver at Trackhouse.

How does Trackhouse accommodate Smith and Zilisch without a dedicated Xfinity Series program? That’s the question of the moment for the team, and there is no easy answer short of starting its own Xfinity program.

Zane Smith’s future is very uncertain, and Trackhouse has to make some tough decisions. What do you think they should do? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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