By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer
KMC Wheels has signed a sponsorship agreement to support Zane Smith for the 2017 ARCA Racing Series season, Venturini Motorsports announced on Tuesday afternoon.
KMC Wheels, a leading automobile wheel manufacturer and distributor located in Southern California, will partner with Smith to promote the company’s popular KMC Truck and SUV Wheel brand.
“We’re proud to support Zane’s efforts with our KMC Wheel Brand for the upcoming ARCA season. Zane’s youth and talent compliments our overall KMC target demographic and appeals to a large segment of the U.S. light and heavy truck market consumer base,” said Todd Hayes, Global Director of Sports Marketing and Events for Wheel Pros, LLC.
Smith made his ARCA debut with Venturini Motorsports last season at Salem Speedway and finished ninth before making his second start at Kentucky Speedway where he was involved in a wreck not of his own doing.
“The pits stops are something new that I had to get used to,” Smith said of what he was able to learn from his two ARCA starts in 2016. “We moved forward from Salem and we went to Kentucky and that was a blast going on the mile-and-a-half deal. We definitely had speed there before we got caught up in the wreck.”
Smith, from Huntington Beach, Calif., will be paired with crew chief Billy Venturini for the 2017 season and compete for SCOTT Rookie of the Year honors. Billy and the No. 55 car earned the Rookie of the Year title last season with Dalton Sargeant recording one win and 10 top-five finishes.
“What I’m really looking forward to is all the mile-and-a-half stuff,” Smith told Motorsports Tribune back in November when he signed with Venturini Motorsports. “I am beyond pumped for that. Just from my first laps at Kentucky I’ve fallen in love compared to the short tracks in Super Late Models that I’m used to.”
At 17-years-old, Smith will not be eligible to compete at Daytona and Talladega due to ARCA age restrictions but will pilot the No. 55 Toyota in the remaining 18 races looking to bring an owner’s championship to the team.
The Venturini organization has recorded thirty victories in ARCA competition since 2008 with several big name drivers, including Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Todd Gilliland, Joey Logano, Brennan Poole and Austin Theriault.