BUSCH: Pikes Peak: Regan Smith preview

Smith Excited About Chance With Finch Team Mooresville, NC. -- 20-year-old Regan Smith, full-time driver of the ...

Smith Excited About Chance With Finch Team

Mooresville, NC. -- 20-year-old Regan Smith, full-time driver of the #50 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series, has had a couple of weeks off to regroup following a disappointing run in Chicago. The young driver has moved past that and is now ready to strap in and tackle the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway in the Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries Salute to the Troops 250.

Smith has only one start on the Colorado track. Last season he stepped in as a substitute driver in the #47 Innovative Motorsports Chevrolet and qualified near mid-pack in the 29th position, before a sour ignition let go on lap one, forcing him to a 40th place finish.

"I didn't get to race, I just did a deal to help (car owner George) DeBidart out. I'm looking forward to this year's race. It's a nice track. It's really smooth, flat. I run really well on flat tracks."

The weekend in Pikes Peak will be an important one for the up and coming driver as he temporarily takes over the wheel of the No. 1 James Finch-owned Dodge. Pikes Peak wasn't on his team's schedule, so he decided the extra seat time could only benefit him when he and the #50 team return to competition next month at Michigan. The deal with Team Yellow Racing is only for one race, but one Smith couldn't pass up.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It will be a good opportunity for me to hop in the 1 car to see what we can do," Smith said.

Finch has yet to settle on a permanent driver since parting ways with Johnny Benson back in May and has been filling the seat with mostly Cup drivers.

In preparing for his first run with the highly competitive team, Smith has spent time in the team's Spartanburg, SC shop and taken to the crew fairly quickly.

"I've been down there quite a bit to get to know the guys and Wolfie (crew chief Jon Wolfe). It's been easy seeing what he likes from the driver and how he works," said Smith.

With seven top 10s accumulated between three different drivers this season, the #1 team is hoping to grab another one this coming weekend at Pikes Peak with Smith behind the wheel. To help him adapt quicker to the substitute role, Smith attended Saturday's race at New Hampshire to observe the team's work ethic and learn how they approach things over the course of a race weekend.

"I went to Loudon this weekend to hang around; I probably got in the way, but the point was to learn about the team," said the steadfast student.

Smith is in fact a quick learner. After debuting with the #50 Team Enzyte/Holigan Racing team in Nashville back in June, he has since posted the team's highest qualifying effort. Each race has shown consistent improvement, but their racing luck hasn't been the best. At Chicago, Smith had a top twenty going until he ran through oil on the track and spun through the infield. He wound up salvaging a 26th place out of it.

You can catch Regan Smith as he takes on PPIR with the #1 Team Yellow/Phoenix Racing team LIVE on TNT at 3:30 EST on Saturday, July 31st.

For more on Regan Smith, check out www.regansmith.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Johnny Benson , Regan Smith
Teams Phoenix Racing