KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Zane Smith was like a kid in a candy store after he learned that the trophy for winning Friday’a ARCA Racing Series pole at Kansas Speedway was a track-branded pedal car.
“That thing is going right in my apartment,” said Smith. “No one will be sitting in that thing. That’s the coolest trophy l ever got. I think two days before I got here, I was stalking Kansas Speedway’s twitter and social media accounts and when I saw the pedal car, I wanted that car. It’s by far the coolest pole award.”
It got even cooler when Smith learned that after he won the General Tire Pole at Kansas he had also sealed the deal for the 2017 General Tire Pole Award, worth $10,000 for his MDM Motorsports team.
Smith also won the pole at Salem Speedway back in September.
The teenager’s No. 41 ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota made just one lap in qualifying, but it was plenty good enough to earn the General Tire Pole Award for Friday night’s Kansas 150.
Smith, in his first start at Kansas, circled the 1.5-mile intermediate oval in 30 seconds flat, posting an average speed of 180 mph.
“I had to do it in one lap,” Smith explained. “I was a little worried whether I was going to get it done or not. This is great, though. I have a lot people here with my sponsor ICON Vehicle Dynamics and a lot of family and friends here tonight, which makes this even more special.”
In two starts with MDM, Smith has finished second at Salem and Kentucky.
“I think I have a great chance tonight. MDM is so well prepared; it’s just ridiculous. I had to beat my teammate (Sheldon Creed) for the pole. He did that to me at Kentucky, so this is a little payback.”
Smith was also fastest in practice earlier in the day.
“Today just keeps getting better and better,” Smith added. “Our race run car, if anything, is better than our pole run car. We’re just going to continue to go out and do our jobs during the race. I’m over all these seconds and thirds. I need a win. I haven’t gotten one this year and it’s killing me.”
“This is my first time at Kansas. Not sure how it’s going to race, but from what I’ve seen, I think it’s going to be an awesome race tonight. I think you’re going to see a lot of side-by-side (racing). Some guys are better on the bottom; some guys are better on the top. I’m better in the middle, so it should be exciting.”
Creed, Ty Majeski, Justin Haley and Gus Dean completed the fast five in qualifying.
Shane Lee timed in sixth-fastest, just ahead of his teammate Dalton Sargeant. Michael Self, Spencer Davis and champion-elect Austin Theriault filled out the top 10 on the grid.
Nashville winner Chad Finley was 15th in qualifying, while fourth-generation driver Bobby Dale Earnhardt did not turn a lap in qualifying and will start 28th.
The Kansas 150, the 17th consecutive ARCA Racing Series event at Kansas, takes the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET, live on FS2.
Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…