MASON CITY — As Zac Smith crossed the finish line in last Sunday night’s Hobby Stocks feature at the Mason City Motor Speedway, his reaction told you all you needed to know about what that race meant to him.
Smith, who is from Mason City, has been trying for the better part of nine years to nail down a win on his home track, and with a pass going into the final lap on Sunday, he finally hung on to do just that. When he crossed the line first with only the checkered flag waving out in front of him, it was celebration time.
A few fist pumps could be seen as he rounded into the first corner, and when he rolled into victory lane, he popped right out of his driver-side door, pounded on the roof of the car and lifted his hands in the air.
Finally, the wait was over.
“I’ve been trying for nine years here,” Smith said Sunday night. “I live two miles away, I grew up around here and to finally win is great.”
Hailing from a racing family — his grandfather Jim was a Hobby Stock driver as well — Smith has spent a lot of time at the track.
On the track, the results haven’t always been there, though. But last year on Aug. 7, Smith scored is best career finish in Mason City — a second place. It came at the cost of giving up the lead to Chanse Hollatz on the final circuit.
On Sunday night, he turned the tables when he got around Andrew Borchardt with a lap to go, and even with a little contact into Turn 1, Smith kept Borchart on his back left quarter panel and eventually pulled away at the line for the victory.
And it came a week after he was disqualified for his car being bent up and out of specs, which made the win that much sweeter.
“To come back and do this, going from the bottom to the top is really cool,” Smith said.
Now with a win in his pocket finally, he’s hoping to keep building forward on the track that he loves so much.
“That would be great,” Smith said. “I’m a low-budget guy coming here – I’ve borrowed some tires from Chanse in the past – but to come out here and compete with these guys is awesome.”
Silver Bullet Twin 25s: Drivers in Mason City are racing for a little extra cash in this week’s show. The night features 25-lap feature races for Stock Cars and B-Modifieds with the winners taking home $700 apiece. The Hobby Stocks will race for $500 and tuners will race for $300. Modifieds are off for the week.