California native Zane Smith has been tabbed to drive eight NASCAR Xfinity Series races for JR Motorsports in 2019, the team announced today. Smith, a member of the NASCAR Next Program, will take the wheel of the organization’s No. 9 entry in his series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 2) in partnership with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for the event.
The 19-year-old Smith is the first driver to be named to the lineup of JRM’s No. 9 team, which is coming off its second consecutive NXS championship (2017-18). The team intends to run a full-time schedule next season with a number of drivers at the helm.
“Zane is going to be an important part of the lineup for the No. 9 team next year,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of JRM. “It’s a great opportunity for him. The team is going to take on a different feel with a handful of drivers taking turns throughout the year, but the goal remains the same - to help these drivers gain experience and continue to advance their careers. We started the Xfinity program with that mindset and it’s something we’re proud to continue.”
In addition to the Las Vegas event, Smith’s schedule is as follows: Bristol Motor Speedway (April 6), Richmond Raceway (April 12 and Sept. 20), Dover International Speedway (May 4 and Oct. 5) and Iowa Speedway (June 16 and July 27).
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Source: JR Motorsports