|Regan Smith at Darlington - Sept. 2015|
credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts & Scuffs
Xfinity Series driver Regan Smith will be blowing out the candles on his birthday cake this week, so let’s take a look back at Smith’s career to date in this week’s Fast Facts, originally published in May 2011.
- Regan Smith was born Sept. 23, 1983 in Cato, NY, northwest of Syracuse. He began racing go-karts and microds at age four. In 1995, his family moved to Mooresville, NC in hopes of advancing Smith’s racing career. He went on to compete in the World Karting Association, the Allison Legacy Series, and the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series.
- In 2002, Smith made his Truck Series and Busch (now Xfinity) Series debuts, going on to race for a number of teams over the next few seasons. He made his Cup Series debut in 2007, sharing the Ginn Racing No. 01 with Mark Martin before the team merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and he lost his ride. In 2008, he came back to the No. 01 as a full-time driver, and won the Rookie of the Year title over Sam Hornish Jr. In addition, Smith was the first rookie driver in NASCAR history to finish every race he entered in his first season.
- Smith was on his way to winning his first race in 2008 when the “yellow line” rule struck: at the fall race at Talladega, he passed Tony Stewart on the last lap for what looked like the win, but NASCAR deemed the pass came below the yellow line, relegating him to an 18th-place finish.
- In January 2009, after DEI merged with Chip Ganassi Racing, Smith signed with Furniture Row Racing for a partial season. He remained with the team in 2010, finishing 28th in points with a top finish of 12th.
- Smith returned to Furniture Row Racing in 2011, and started the season with a seventh-place finish in the Daytona 500, his first top-10 in Sprint Cup. In May of that year, Smith finally made it to Victory Lane, winning the historic Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He later added a third place finish in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
- Smith stayed at Furniture Row Racing late into the 2012 season, when he swapped rides with Kurt Busch, who was heading to FRR for the 2013 season. In addition to racing for Phoenix Racing, Smith also subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in two races after he was diagnosed with a concussion. In 2013, Smith returned to the Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series with JR Motorsports.
- Smith has become something of a “super-sub” in the Sprint Cup Series: in addition to filling in for Earnhardt Jr., he has filled in for Tony Stewart, Busch and Kyle Larson, and has been tabbed as a standby driver for Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
- Find out more about Regan Smith at www.regansmith.com.