NASCAR Nationwide Series
Smith revs up for series’
second stop at
New York native began racing
at age 4 in go-karts, microds
(September 2013) – Currently driving the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for J.R. Motorsports, Regan Smith has proven to be a tough competitor. He plans to do his best to beat out the competition during the “Kentucky 300,” the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Sept. 21 at the Kentucky Speedway.
• Distance: 150 laps, 300 miles (1.5-mile tri-oval)
• Race: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Gates open at 1 p.m. Saturday.
• TV: ESPNews
• Radio: MRN Radio
• Admission: $45-75
• Drivers to Watch: Sam Hornish Jr., Austin Dillon, Elliott Sadler, Regan Smith, Justin Allgaier
Also at the Speedway:
• NASCAR Nationwide Series Fan Zone opens at 1 p.m. Sat. with driver autograph session at 2:30-3:30 p.m. Tickets $30 adults; $15 children 12-under. Fan Zone passes must be accompanied by a corresponding race ticket to be admitted into Fan Zone.
Smith, 29, grew up in Cato, N.Y., where he began his racing career early. At age 4, he began racing go-karts and microds, winning several regional and state championships.
He received his second Nationwide Series victory at the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega. He recently placed fourth at the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, where he finished in the top 10 last year.
In 1995, the Smith family moved to Mooresville, N.C., so that he could put all of his focus on his career. At 18, he joined the World Karting Association. Three years later, he began competing in the Allison Legacy Series.
By 2001, he had begun driving in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series. It took only another year for Smith to begin racing in the NASCAR series by entering the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
He debuted driving the No. 63 Ford F-150 for MB Motorsports at South Boston Speedway. Smith qualified 28th and finished 29th at South Boston. After starting 12th, he finished 30th at Phoenix International Raceway.
Smith made his Busch Series debut at Memphis Motors-ports Park for Ed Whitaker. In 2003, he moved to the NASCAR Busch Series full time, driving for Boston Motorsports.
He had three top-20 finishes, despite lack of major sponsorship. But Boston Motors-ports, being an underfunded team, chose other drivers halfway through the year. This left Smith driving for Innovative Motorsports. He also drove the Ford 300 for Mac Hill Motorsports. Smith drove various Busch races for Mac Hill in 2004.
After being released from Mac Hill Motorsports, Smith was hired to drive the No. 50 Enzyte Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Michael Holigan. He drove this car for three races.
Smith posted his best NASCAR finish to date at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Truck Series, placing ninth in the No. 06 John Boy and Billy Chevy for MRD Motorsports.
Smith began the 2005 season in a good spot with the No. 19 team for Xpress Motorsport. But as luck would have it, sponsorship failed to materialize.
Hoping his career would take a turn for the better, Smith went on to drive the No. 65 Glynn Motorsports Dodge Ram. After several good placements, he was elevated to Glynn’s Busch Series team. Despite a streak of six races where he did not qualify lower than twelfth place, Smith was released from the team.
He ended 2005 in the Truck Series for MRD Motorsports for the closing races of the season, finishing 29th, 33rd and 32nd in three late season starts for that team. He then signed on with Team Rensi Motorsports to run a full Busch season for the following year. Smith’s best finish was 10th place at Charlotte Speedway.
Smith would end the 2006 season with one top 10 as well as a number of other strong finishes, and 20th overall in points. He tested for Ginn Racing at Kentucky and signed a deal with them to run the full Busch season. This deal included 16 cup races which would come in a car shared with Mark Martin for the 2007 season.
He attempted his first career Cup race at the 2007 Daytona 500 in car No. 39 for Ginn Racing, but failed to qualify. He then made his official Nextel Cup debut at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, finishing in 25th place. Later in the year Ginn Racing merged with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Smith then moved to the Craftsman Truck series to get behind the wheel of the No. 47 for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. For the 2008 season, he no longer had to share a car with Mark Martin. He barely lost a Talladega Superspeedway win to Tony Stewart.
Even though Smith had no top ten finishes in 34 races for the season, he won the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award, beating out Sam Hornish, Jr. Smith became the first rookie driver in Sprint Cup history to finish every race entered in his rookie season.
He signed with Furniture Row Racing on January 14, 2009, to drive part-time in the team’s No. 78 car. He was hired to drive full-time for the team a year later.
But 2010 did not see Smith score any top tens. Even though his best finish was 12th place, he still finished 28th in point standings.
Returning to the No. 78 car, he finished seventh in the 2011 Daytona 500. Things were looking up in May of that year when Smith won his first Sprint Cup race at the Showtime 500 at Darlington Speedway.
At the end of the 2012 season, Smith was supposed to swap cars with Kurt Busch, Busch taking the No. 78 and Smith taking the No. 51. But on Oct. 11, 2012, Smith was announced as the replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet for the Charlotte and Kansas Chase races. Earnhardt had suffered a concussion after two different races. Smith qualified 26th.
In November 2012, Smith won the Ford EcoBoost 300 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving the No. 5 Hendrickcars.com Chevy for JR Motorsports. This was his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win in his first and only start of 2012.
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