- September 23, 1983
- United States
- Nascar Cup Series
Regan Smith is a racing driver from the United States who spent the most of a career in stock car racing, recording more than 450 starts in three NASCAR national divisions.
He scored seven wins, one in the Cup Series and six in the Nationwide Series. His biggest success in the overall classification was the second place in the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series.
As the son of the owners of M.P.H. Racing team, Regan was involved in motorsports as a kid. At the age of 4, he began racing go-karts and microds. Over the years he won some regional and state championships and in 1995 with his family moved to Mooresville in North Carolina to advance his racing career.
After graduating in minor racing series, Smith began his NASCAR career in 2002, starting a total of three races in both Busch and Truck Series but without notable results. The following year Regan raced only in Busch Series and did slightly better. His best result that year was the 15th place in O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
In the next two years, Regan Smith combined his duties in Busch and Truck Series, driving for many teams but again without too much success. However, for the first time in his NASCAR career, Smith scored Top 10 finish, taking 6th place in 2004 Truck Series’ season finale at Homestead. In the Busch Series, Regan scored a couple of 15th places.
In 2006, for the first time in his career, Smith got an opportunity to drive full-time season in Busch Series. Behind the wheel of Team Rensi Motorsports’ Ford #35, Regan had one Top 10 finish, in Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. At the end of the year, Smith was 20th overall which was a solid achievement.
In 2007, Smith signed with Ginn Racing in Busch Series, but also in selected Cup races. Driving a #4 Chevrolet in Busch Series, he had two Top 5 finishes at Charlotte and Nashville and other two Top 10 finishes but in the middle of the season team merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Regan kept his rookie status in the Cup for the following year.
Finally, in 2008, Smith drove his first full-time Cup season and, despite not having any Top 10 finish, he won Rookie of the Year award becoming the first rookie in the history who managed to finish every race he has started. He won the race at Talladega in October, overtaking Tony Stewart on the final lap, but shortly after the finish, he was penalized after stewards found Smith has passed Stewart below the yellow line and he was relegated back to the 18th place.
Smith signed with Furniture Row Racing in 2009 to drive #78 Chevrolet as a part-timer. He had a couple of strong finishes in the Cup, with 12th place in Coke Zero 400 at Daytona as the highlight. In 2010 and 2011 Regan drove full-time with a variable success. Without a Top 10 finish, he finished 28th overall in 2010 while in 2011 he moved up to the 26th.
That year he won his first Cup race – Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He was also 3rd in Brickyard 400 and scored other three Top 10s, including 7th place in Daytona 500. In 2012, his final year with FRR, Smith was 24th in the points after having one Top 5 and three Top 10 finishes.
In 2013, Smith returned to the Nationwide Series, driving JR Motorsports #7 Chevrolet. The results were impressive. Regan won the races at Talladega and Michigan, scored many Top 5 and Top 10 finishes, and finished the season in 3rd place, behind Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr. Apart from his duties in the Nationwide Series, Smith raced in the Cup, driving unsponsored Phoenix Racing’s #51 Chevrolet in six races and had two Top 10 finishes.
The following year was even better, although his sole duty was racing in the Nationwide Series. Still driving the #7 Chevy, Regan Smith finished in Top 10 in 29 out of 33 races, which was an excellent achievement. However, he won only one race that year, the season-opener at Daytona, and lost the championship battle to rookie Chase Elliott by 42 points. Smith continued with strong performances in the Xfinity Series in 2015, scoring two wins and having numerous Top 10 positions, but again couldn’t win the title. He finished 4th in the Drivers’ Championship, behind Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Ty Dillon. That was a really tight season considering the difference between the champion and 4th-placed Smith was just 32 points.
With a lot of confidence after a stream of good results, Smith returned to the Sprint Cup Series in 2016. He joined Tommy Baldwin Racing, had a good start of the season and he finished in 8th place at Daytona. Still, Regan’s results weren't as good as he thought they would be, but he managed to recover and he finished third in Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. At the end of the season, he was 34th in the points.
Smith left the team and the Cup Series in 2017, having a part-time programme with RBR Enterprises in the Truck Series. In the Cup Series, he recorded just two starts in 2017 with Richard Petty Motorsports and then one more start in 2018 with Leavine Family Racing.
Smith is married to Megan Mayhew and the couple has two children. Besides racing, Regan is interested in ice hockey and American football and he is a big fan of NHL team Carolina Hurricanes and NFL team Denver Broncos.
Photo: regansmith.com zimbio.com skirtsandscuffs.com frontstretch.com motorsport.com
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