Smith Delivers Podium Run at Bristol as MHR Dominates the Top Five

Zane Smith earned a third-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night and contributed to a monumental accomplishment for the organization. The driver of the No. 91 Instacoat Premium Products (IPP) Chevrolet Silverado RST finished on the podium for the first time since July 2023 as he was part of a dominant effort by the MHR team. While teammate Christian Eckes captured the victory, Smith and teammate Tyler Ankrum helped MHR place three entries in the top five for the first time in team history.

Smith qualified seventh for the second-straight event and was a fixture in the top half dozen for the bulk of the event. Despite the front tires feeling “out of the racetrack” in the opening segment, Smith took the sixth position on lap 16 and held the spot until the completion of Stage 1 on lap 65. Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt and the IPP team executed a one-stop strategy during the race and kept Smith on track during the first stage caution to preserve their track position.

When the event restarted on lap 77, Smith was opportunistic and claimed the fifth position and consistently maintained the spot during the second stage. He was scored fifth on lap 130 at the end of Stage 2 and made his only visit to pit road under the subsequent caution.

Bellicourt and company armed Smith with four fresh tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment to help his tight handling condition, and the changes paid off. As Eckes raced for the lead, Smith thrust himself into contention by taking the fourth position on lap 159. On the final restart of the night, Smith launched himself into third position by utilizing the outside lane. He took the checkered flag third behind Eckes and Kyle Busch to complete a sweep of the podium for Chevrolet. Smith’s top-five effort elevated the No. 91 team to 11th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owners’ point standings after four races.

Zane Smith Quote:

“We just had a solid day all around. I appreciate MHR for having me out, and Instacoat. I felt like it was some good practice for (the NASCAR Cup Series race). We had a pretty good truck. We just needed a little more to compete for the win. All in all, a solid night.”