CANDOR, N.Y. – Jimmy Zacharias will make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut during the season opening event at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 11.
Zacharias, who earlier this year captured his sixth NASCAR track championship at New York’s Chemung Speedrome in the Sunoco Modified division and his fourth New York state NASCAR championship, will pilot the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Chevrolet for team owner Ted Marsh.
The deal to put the 26-year-old racer in the legendary Marsh Racing No. 31 came about thanks largely to his 13-year-old cousin, Garrett Zacharias.
“Garrett, who collects hero cards, sent the team’s Facebook page a request,” Zacharias explained. “Dar, who oversees the team page, was impressed by the wins and championships that Garrett had already accumulated in his young career, later reached out to Garrett to be a guest on the Jack Dodson’s Racing Insider News With Scott Allen Facebook Live Show, which is held weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.
“Jack, who was familiar with Jimmy because of his multiple championships at Chemung, requested that he be a guest as well. Jimmy and Dar started talking about the show and the 2018 season and the deal kind of came together from there all in the last week and a half or so.
“We’re going to start at New Smyrna and see how it goes,” said Zacharias, who met team owner Ted Marsh for the first time in person on Monday at the Marsh Racing shop. “He’s a good guy, Monday was my first time meeting him and the team. It seemed like we knew each other for a while and we just hit it off and had a good day talking.”
The chance to race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is a big step for Zacharias, who has made a name for himself as one of the most dominant drivers in Chemung Speedrome history the last few years.
Zacharias has won six of the last seven track championships in the Sunoco Modified class at the three-eighths-mile asphalt oval and won seven races this year at Chemung en route to his sixth track title.
The New York native hasn’t just stuck to asphalt racing. In recent years he has also begun racing on dirt and this year he picked up a pair of dirt victories in a sportsman modified, his first victories on dirt.
In addition to competing at New Smyrna Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Feb. 11, Zacharias also hopes to bring his modified with him to compete during the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
“I’m trying to take my modified to do Speedweeks with that,” Zacharias said. “I’ve been racing there since I was 14 years old with the SK modifieds and the tour-type modifieds. I want to keep that streak going, but we’re going to focus on the K&N deal.
“We’re going to do testing here and get as much seat time as we can and hopefully have a good run.”
Quality Choice Property Improvements in West Elmira, N.Y., and Midstate Basement Authorities in Ithaca, N.Y., have both signed on to sponsor Zacharias during his K&N East debut, but the team is still looking for additional sponsorship.
“We’re still looking for marketing partners if anyone is looking to come on board the tour-type modified or the K&N car for Speedweeks,” Zacharias said.
For additional information about Jimmy Zacharias, follow him on Twitter at @JimmyZacharias or visit www.facebook.com/