BUSCH: Daytona: Regan Smith preview

Regan Smith/ ...

Regan Smith/ #56 Mac Hill Motorsports Daytona preview.

Daytona Beach, FL (February 9, 2004) -- Regan Smith is heading into the Hershey's Kisses 300 with a new team and a new attitude. After the 2003 season left him struggling to find a full-time ride following a deal gone bad due to lack of funding, the Cato, NY native prevailed after hooking up for the season finale held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. There, he qualified the #56 Jack McNelly-owned Mac Hill Motorsports car 19th, the highest qualifying effort for the 56 gang in all of 2003.

McNelly was impressed and called upon 20-year-old Smith to wheel his Chevrolet for at least 15 races this year in what marks the team's third season in NASCAR Busch Series competition.

Random Notes:

-Smith also has stock experience in the Craftsman Truck Series and the USAR ProCup Series. He holds the USAR record for the most poles in a row with four in 2001.

-Smith and the Mac Hill Motorsports team will be powered by Hutter Engines.

2003 Busch Series:

- Finishes- 4 top-20 finishes including a 15th-place career best at Texas

- Qualifying- 3 top-20 starts including a 14th-place qualifying effort at Nazareth

- Ran the quickest time in practice at Kentucky

- Made Busch debut in 2002 in Memphis, qualifying 15th

Daytona stats:

Smith has one Daytona start under his belt that came in July of 2003. He qualified 37th and finished 34th.

Pre-season testing at Daytona:

Smith clicked off his quickest lap on the second day of testing at a top speed in 50.696 seconds, 177.529 mph.

Regan Smith on pre-season testing:

"It went pretty good but we weren't as fast as we would like to be. We did pick up speed while we were down there. As for the car itself, it drove pretty good. It was tough to tell, everyone was out by themselves and we didn't run together with anybody. Nobody drafted really but the new rules package should be pretty good."

Regan Smith on his second Daytona start:

"I'll be cautiously optimistic. Guys aren't going to push me up there to lead. So the first 50-75 laps I'm looking for experience. A lot of that will depend on how strong the car is."

Regan Smith on teaming with Jack McNelly and the Mac Hill Motorsports team:

"Obviously it will take a race or two for me and David (Ifft, crew chief) to get communication built. But once we get going, things will be good. The equipment is better then what I had last year, the team is strong."

The Hershey's Kisses 300 will be aired LIVE on NBC at 12:30 P.M. EST on February 14th.

For more information on Regan Smith and the Mac Hill Motorsports team check out www.regansmith.com.

-ab/mhm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Regan Smith