Daytona: Regan Smith preview

Regan Smith begins his first full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series behind the wheel of the No. 19 Xpress Motorsports Silverado as teammate to three-time NCTS champion, Jack Sprague. He will compete for the Raybestos Rookie of the...

Regan Smith begins his first full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series behind the wheel of the No. 19 Xpress Motorsports Silverado as teammate to three-time NCTS champion, Jack Sprague. He will compete for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.

Smith has just three previous starts in the NCTS, his last at the 2004 season-ending Homestead race where he started 25th and finished an impressive ninth place. He also has 29 NASCAR Busch Series starts to his credit. His best finish in NASCAR Busch Series competition is a pair of 15th place finishes, one in 2003 at Texas Motor Speedway and in 2004 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Smith began racing quarter midgets at the age of four, moving to Go Karts where he won numerous World Karting Association national and international championships. He was the 1999 Allison Legacy Series national points champion as well as rookie of the year. Smith competed in the USAR ProCup Series full-time during the 2000-2001 season earning four pole awards including a record-setting three consecutive poles in 2001.

REGAN SMITH QUOTES:

ON EXPECTATIONS FOR 2005 SEASON: "I am really excited to have an opportunity to drive for a top-notch team. The fact that Xpress Motorsports has won two out of the last three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships gives me a great opportunity to learn from the best in the series. I know I will have tremendous equipment and a great crew so it puts it in my lap to perform. But I feel I am up to the challenge.

"Having Doug George as my crew chief and him being a former driver I think is really going to work to our advantage. Sometimes it is hard for a rookie driver to communicate in the right language with the crew chief. Doug being a former driver he will be able to help me explain what the truck is doing and what I am trying to tell him and should cut down our learning curve quite a bit.

"I feel like I won the lottery having Jack (Sprague) as my teammate. There isn't anything he doesn't know about how to successfully race in the NCTS. During testing he was very helpful in giving me tips and listening to my explanations of what the truck was doing and giving me pointers on what I can do as a driver to work through some of those things as well as give the right feedback to my crew chief and team. It will be a tremendous learning experience for me and I am really looking forward to getting to the track."

ON EXPECTATIONS FOR DAYTONA NCTS RACE: "Realistically we want to complete every lap and roll the NO. 19 Silverado back up on the transporter in one piece. If I said I didn't want to win, I wouldn't be telling the truth because I want to win every time I climb in the cockpit. We want to stay out of trouble and learn as much as we can.

"But I know that there are a lot of things that can happen at Daytona and even the best drivers get caught up in things because they all happen so fast. I have never been in the draft in a truck under race conditions so I know I will have a lot to learn from the veterans out there as the race unwinds.

"We want to get to the finish, get as many points as possible and go on to California."

-jkdracer

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague , Regan Smith