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Regan Smith

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Regan Smith

Regan Smith (born September 23, 1983) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports.

Early career

Son of M.P.H. Racing owners Ron and Lee Smith, Smith grew up in Cato, New York, and began his racing career at the age of four, when he began racing go-karts and microds. Over the next several years, he won numerous regional and state championships. In 1995, he and his family moved to Mooresville, North Carolina, to allow Smith to advance his career. He joined the World Karting Association and continued to win, joining the factory-supported team owned by Enzo Chiovitti in 1998. That same year, he began competing in the Allison Legacy Series.

In 2001, he began driving in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, winning four consecutive poles.



Smith began his NASCAR career racing in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2002. He made his debut at the age of 18 driving the No. 63 Ford F-150 for MB Motorsports at South Boston Speedway. He qualified 28th and finished 29th at South Boston and finished 30th at Phoenix after starting 12th in that race. He also made his Busch Series debut at Memphis Motorsports Park for Ed Whitaker, starting 16th but finishing 39th after a wreck.

Smith moved to the Busch Series in 2003 for a full-time ride with Bost Motorsports. Despite a lack of major sponsorship, Smith had three top-twenty finishes. However, the underfunded team opted for other drivers halfway through the year, forcing Smith out of work. He drove one race for Innovative Motorsports at Pikes Peak International Raceway, finishing 40th after early mechanical failures forced him to exit the race on the second lap. He also drove for Mac Hill Motorsports in the Ford 300, finishing 28th.

Smith continued to drive for Mac Hill in various Busch races in 2004, his best finish coming at Nashville Superspeedway, where he finished 24th. Following his release from the team, he was hired to drive the No. 50 Enzyte Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Michael Holigan for three races and appeared in a few episodes of The Reality of Speed on Spike, his best finish 26th at Chicagoland Speedway, before that team suspended operations. After a fifteenth place finish at Pikes Peak for Phoenix Racing, he posted his best NASCAR finish to date at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Truck Series, 9th in the No. 06 John Boy and Billy Chevy for MRD Motorsports.


Smith began the 2005 season with Xpress Motorsports's No. 19 team, but lost the ride after sponsorship failed to materialize. He was then hired as the driver of the No. 65 Glynn Motorsports Dodge Ram and in four races in the truck he had a 20th at Texas and a pair of 22nds at Mansfield and Dover, and after that was elevated to Glynn's Busch Series team. Originally unsponsored, the team garnered sponsorship from Who's Your Daddy? and Samson Stone. Despite a streak of six races where he did not qualify worse than twelfth, including three thirteenth-place runs, he was released from the team. He ended the year in the Truck Series MRD for the closing races of the season, finishing 29th, 33rd and 32nd in three late season starts for that team.

At the end of the 2005 season, Smith signed on with Team Rensi Motorsports to run a full Busch season for 2006, with his best finish of 10th coming at Charlotte Speedway. Smith ended the season with one top 10 as well as a number of other strong finishes, and ended the season 20th overall in points. Towards the end of the season Smith tested for Ginn Racing at Kentucky, and signed a deal with them to run the full Busch season, and also 16 cup races which, would come in a car shared with Mark Martin for the 2007 season.


Smith racing at the road course Infineon Raceway in June 2007
Smith's car from 2008

Smith attempted his first career Cup race at the 2007 Daytona 500, in a fourth car, numbered 39, for Ginn Racing. He failed to qualify.

Regan Smith made his official O'Reilly Raceway Park.

Smith returned to the No. 01 for 2008 as its sole driver, with Martin moving over to the #8. The team operated with little to no sponsorship (Principal Financial Group was the main sponsor), but managed to stay in business the entire season. Smith lost out his first win at Talladega Superspeedway because on the final lap, in the trioval, he passed Tony Stewart for first place, but it was announced that Smith went below the yellow line when he made the pass; the victory was given to Stewart. Smith said that he was pushed down by Stewart.[2]

Despite finishing the season with no top ten finishes in 34 races (he was removed for both road course races), Smith won the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award, beating out Sam Hornish, Jr.. He became the first rookie driver in Sprint Cup history to finish every race entered in his rookie season.


After the 2008 season DEI shut down the No. 01 after merging with Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operation and Smith was released. On January 14, 2009, he signed with Furniture Row Racing to drive the No. 78 for its part-time 2009 slate of races. He made eighteen of twenty attempts with the team, and was hired to drive for the team full-time in 2010, with the team being offered Richard Childress Racing chassis and Hendrick Motorsports engines.

In 2010, he did not score any top tens. His best finish was 12th (twice) but still finished 28th in the point standings, his best of his career. The team changed engine providers, becoming a user of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies (a joint venture of his former DEI team and Childress Racing) engines for the 2011 season, with Stewart-Haas Racing offering pit crews.


At the 2011 Daytona 500, Smith returned to the No. 78 car. Smith finished seventh after crashing in the final laps while battling for the lead. Although disappointing, he was able to come back and finish 7th in the first top 10 finish of his Cup Series career and for Furniture Row Racing.

On May 7, 2011, at the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway, Smith won his first Sprint Cup race, holding off Carl Edwards at the end. On a late caution, Smith stayed out on older tires while Edwards and most of the lead lap cars pitted for fresh right side tires. Smith fended off Edwards for two restarts to claim the first cup win of his career at Darlington Raceway. Smith in recalling the Talladega race he lost in 2008 said he was not worried about it anymore, and said the Darlington win meant more to him than what he would have experienced at Talladega. The win was somewhat overshadowed by a post-race altercation between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. It was only the second time a driver had won his first Sprint Cup race in the Rebel 500, the first being Lake Speed in 1988.

At the 2011 Brickyard 400, Smith had enough fuel to end with a solid 3rd place finish by passing Jamie McMurray on the last lap, for his second top 5 of 2011. His former teammate Paul Menard ended up winning the race. Also a strong run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway proved that Smith was ready for the Sprint Cup Series with another top 10 position. At the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway, Smith was accidentally turned by Mark Martin and smashed extremely hard head on into the wall. Smith was able to walk away from the crash uninjured but said the crash was one of his hardest wrecks in his career.

In 2012 when the Daytona 500 frustrated many fans and NASCAR officials because of a long rain delay on the planned date, a rain delay in the morning, and then the bizarre fire red flag delay caused by Juan Pablo Montoya's crash into a jet dryer in turn 3 on lap 160, Smith told the public he was so happy and excited for the first time in his career to leave Daytona that night. Smith had been involved in a crash on lap 188 involving several other drivers, but was able to continue on the lead lap.

At the 2012 Irwin Tools Night Race, Smith had gotten through 2 cautions that resulted in Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart crashing out of the race until he ended up spinning Danica Patrick away from a top-ten finish. Patrick crashed head-on and when climbing out of her car, before leaving with officials she thought about tossing her helmet at Smith's car like Stewart had done to Matt Kenseth previously in the past caution, but instead vented her anger/fury by wagging her finger at him when he came by to lap her down. After the race Smith maintained that he did not intentionally crash her while Patrick believed he did and both left Bristol without any penalties.

It was announced on September 24, 2012, that Smith will not be returning to Furniture Row Racing for the 2013 season. He was be replaced by Kurt Busch.[3] In his last start for FRR, in the fall race at Talladega, Smith had a fifth place finish after clearing a 23-car crash in turn 4 on the last lap.

Smith was set to finish the 2012 season by swapping rides with Busch, with Busch taking over Smith's No. 78 and Smith taking over the unsponsored No. 51 Chevrolet at Phoenix Racing, but Smith was announced on October 11, 2012, as the replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the works team's No. 88 Chevrolet for the Charlotte and Kansas Chase races after Earnhardt, Jr. was diagnosed with a concussion after his testing crash at Kansas Speedway in August and after involvement in the same last lap crash during the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega on October 7, 2012, so for these two races, Smith was replaced in the No. 51 by A. J. Allmendinger. Qualifying 26th and performing well during both practice sessions, Smith had a top-ten car before the engine failed for the first time on the No. 88 team in the season, and finished the race in 38th position. In the following race at Kansas, Smith performed well, and managed to muster a top-ten finish. Earnhardt, Jr. returned to the 88 at Martinsville. Allmendinger would drive the No. 51 at Martinsville and Texas, while Smith drove the car at Phoenix and Homestead. On November 18, Smith won the Ford EcoBoost 300 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving the No. 5 Chevy for JR Motorsports. It is his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win in his first and only start of 2012. Prior to the win at Homestead Miami his last start came in 2007.

Smith driving the No. 51 during the 2013 STP Gas Booster 500

For 2013, Smith returned to the Nationwide Series, driving the No. 7 for JR Motorsports.[4] On the final lap at the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona, Smith was leading while heading into the final turn, but when he attempted to block Brad Keselowski, but then spun up the track, causing a 12-car crash that injured 28 fans.[5] On May 4, Smith got his second Nationwide Series victory at the Aaron's 312 at Talladega; Smith, Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne were racing three-wide to the finish, and despite Kahne crossing first, Smith had been the leader at the time of the caution coming out.[6] At Michigan's Nationwide race, Smith took the lead with 13 laps remaining after Parker Kligerman pitted, and Smith held off Kyle Larson for his third Nationwide victory.[7] On September 6, Smith stepped into the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports car for Jimmie Johnson in practice and qualifying for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond, since Johnson was awaiting his second child's birth.[8]

Smith finished third in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series standings, behind Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish, Jr.; he was named the series' Most Popular Driver at the season-ending awards banquet.[9]


Smith racing at Road America in 2014

Smith won the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona.

On May 24, Smith was tabbed as standby driver for the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports car of Jeff Gordon in the event Gordon did not run the Coca-Cola 600 due to back spasms.[10] Gordon would run the full 600 miles.[11] On August 10, Smith was hired to replace Tony Stewart in the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen after Stewart hit and killed a driver during a sprint car race the previous day.[12]

Smith nearly swept the Daytona Nationwide races by nearly winning the Subway Jalapeño 250. He got edged at the start-finish line by teammate Kasey Kahne in a photo-finish. The spring Daytona race was proven to be Smith's only win of 2014. He finished second in the championship standings to teammate Chase Elliott who clenched the championship during the autumn race at Phoenix.


2015 Xfinity Series car at Road America

Smith was picked up by Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the #41 Haas Automation car, upon the indefinite suspension of its normal driver Kurt Busch. It marked the second time in 7 months that Smith replaced a SHR driver (the other being when he replaced Stewart at Watkins Glen in 2014). Upon Busch's reinstation, Smith did not return to the Cup Series until the STP 500, when Smith replaced Kyle Larson in the #42 Target car of Chip Ganassi Racing after Larson had fainted the day before the race.[13]

In the Xfinity Series race at Daytona, he flipped over for the first time in his career causing him to finish 35th.[14]

On August 8, 2015 at Watkins Glen, Smith started the fight against Ty Dillon when Dillon dumped him in turn one causing him in a great finish.

On August 15, 2015, Smith won the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, passing the leader, Alex Tagliani, in the last lap after slight contact while racing for the lead.[15]

On October 3, 2015, Smith won his second race in 2015 at Dover, after holding off Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

On October 17, 2015, Smith stated that he will not return with JR Motorsports for 2016 and expected to join a team that is competing in the Sprint Cup Series in 2016. It was announced on October 28th that Justin Allgaier would bring Brandt sponsorship and drive the #7 in 2016.

Motorsports career results


() (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series

Daytona 500
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
2007 Ginn Racing Chevrolet DNQ
2008 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. 29 37
2009 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 42 21
2010 11 39
2011 5 7
2012 6 24
2013 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 40 7
2015 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 24 16

Xfinity Series

Craftsman Truck Series

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points


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  • Smith earns his break

External links

  • Official website
  • Regan Smith driver statistics at Racing-Reference
Preceded by
Denny Hamlin
Bojangles' Southern 500 winner
Succeeded by
Jimmie Johnson
Preceded by
Juan Pablo Montoya
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Joey Logano
Preceded by
Danica Patrick
NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver
Succeeded by
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