Zane Smith, driver of the No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix/ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota leads the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge standings heading into this weekend’s Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. The short track challenge is a championship-within-a-championship inside the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards that encompasses the nine short track races and two dirt track events on the 2018 schedule.
The Berlin race will be the seventh round of 11 for 2018. Previous races were at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville; Salem Speedway, Salem, Indiana; Toledo Speedway, Toledo, Ohio Madison International Speedway, Madison, Wisconsin; Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa; and Elko Speedway, Elko, Minnesota. Only a driver’s ten best finishes count towards the SCSTC title. Austin Theriault won the overall series championship and the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge in 2017.
Zane Smith has two short track wins so far in 2018 at Nashville and Toledo. He has five top-five finishes and his average finish in the previous six short track events is 3.6. He’s led 295 laps on tracks less than one mile so far in 2018. He will be making his first career ARCA Racing Series start at Berlin. He had a 75-point lead in the SCSTC standings headed into Elko but gave up ten points of his lead after a 12th-place finish.
At just 16 years of age, Chandler Smith is only eligible to race on tracks less than a mile in length. He moved into second in the SCSTC standings with a sixth-place run at Elko. Smith, the driver of the No. 20 Craftsman Toyota, won earlier in the season at Madison. He’s earned four top-five finishes in his previous six short track starts, and his average finish is 4.6. He’s led 527 laps on tracks less than one mile. He too will also be making his first ARCA appearance at Berlin.
Chase Purdy, the driver of the No. 8 Bama Buggies Toyota, was second in the SCSTC standings heading into Elko, just 75 points behind his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith. Purdy looked strong, leading 31 laps on the night and battling for the win inside of ten laps to go. However, sparks from a broken drive shaft combined with a leaky rear gear resulted in a spectacular fire and crash. He has dropped to third, now 85 points out of the lead. Purdy has four top-five finishes on short tracks, including a season-best second at Toledo. His average short track finish is 5.8 and he’s led 56 laps. Purdy finished second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Berlin in 2017.
Overall championship leader Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 28 United Rentals Toyota, had a rear gear failure at Elko. He finished 12th and remains fourth in the SCSTC standings. Joe Graf, Jr. finished third in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford at Elko, moving him into fifth in the SCSTC for the first time this season.
The Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin is scheduled for Saturday, July 21. Practice will start at 2:30 pm ET, General Tire Pole Qualifying is at 6:30 pm ET, and the 200-lap race will go green at 9 pm ET. The race will be televised live nationally on MAVTV and ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring and track updates throughout all on-track sessions for registered users.