USAR: Good news - Bad news for Regan Smith at South Boston

GOOD NEWS - Regan and RSR Team tested at South Boston the Monday prior to the race. The car they chose for this track wasn’t Regan’s favorite, but they worked on it and worked on it some more and had the car set up good enough to come off of...

GOOD NEWS - Regan and RSR Team tested at South Boston the Monday prior to the race. The car they chose for this track wasn’t Regan’s favorite, but they worked on it and worked on it some more and had the car set up good enough to come off of the transporter for Saturday’s race and run third fastest during practice.

"The car was comfortable and we got it set up pretty good" said Regan.

BAD NEWS – With only about 20 minutes left in this very encouraging practice session, Regan "found" all the oil that another car was "losing". At the end of the straightaway going into turn three the 28 car suddenly broke loose and violently slid into the outside wall.

"He hit so quick and hard, it looked like the car actually sped up after hitting the oil," says Lee Smith, team owner and Regan’s mom.

GOOD NEWS – Regan gets out of the car and other than being extremely disappointed over destroying what turned out to be a very good car, he is fine. His previously injured hand isn’t even hurting.

BAD NEWS – The racecar is absolutely totaled. The nose and hood are wrecked. The tail is wrecked. The rear end and bumper is dragging on the ground. Someone said, "It looks like a Chevy Monte Carlo Hatchback". The heap was delivered to the RSR pit on the back of a rollback where it sat like some kind of "Don’t drink and drive" public service announcement.

"The rear clip had to be cut off just to get the car back in the trailer" said Ron Smith.

GOOD NEWS – Regan has friends. Lee immediately went to the 15 car’s pit to talk with Bill Plemons, Jr. to see if they had any kind of rental car program. After a brief discussion about something called a second mortgage… Mrs. Smith and Mr. Plemons had a deal for the use of the number 15; Hooter’s sponsored Chevy Monte Carlo.

"We just tested here this week with another young driver that coincidentally weighed exactly the same as Regan" Plemons explained.

This is a stroke of luck because now there would only be about a hundred other things that needed to be changed before Regan could race the car, including getting it through inspection.

BAD NEWS – Practice is all but over, the crew finished changing all they had time for and Regan has the difficult job of trying to qualify in a "loaner" that he has never even sat in before.

GOOD NEWS – Mrs. Smith, the savvy negotiator, was able to convince the race director to let Regan have just 5 laps by himself to get used to the car.

BAD NEWS – There isn’t anymore, keep reading.

GOOD NEWS – Regan, with pillows stuffed in tight around him, qualified 17th. Ninth row inside not bad considering this is on exactly his 7th lap in a "borrowed" racecar!

A good clean start got Regan in the groove with some room to get use to the car. It didn’t take long, by lap 30 Regan was in 10th place. Carefully charging through 50 laps of typical South Boston traffic, Regan moved the surrogate number 28 car into 5th spot. In just 4 more laps he was up another spot to 4th place.

On lap 141 there was a caution and obvious strategy dictated pitting with the leaders. Coming down pit road the car died. Knowing the battery was nearly dead, Regan radioed "It died, I’ll need a push, I’ll need a push".

No major injuries, but what a show! After tires and fuel in great time the crew began shoving the car with all they had. One of the crew member’s slipped on the take off, tore his pants off and strained his [edit] anyway get well soon Big Guy.

Back on track, the green flag waved all the way to the end, Regan raced with the lead pack, ran in the top-five for awhile and finished 6th.

If the actual race seems a little uneventful, remember this; Regan is only sixteen; this is his rookie season; this is his first year driving full-size stock cars; he walked away from a wreck that demolished his car; in the waning moments of practice the team finds him a ride; he qualified better than 28 other drivers; eleven drivers went home and Regan pulls off one of his best finishes of the season. For RSR Team that was quite an event.

Regan continues to prove that he is a true competitor and will prevail. RSR Team, Regan and the crew performed professionally and did a fantastic job overcoming a major setback as well as salvaging a potentially disappointing weekend of racing.

Lee and Ron Smith sincerely thank Mr. Bill Plemons and his crew, USAR and their personnel and most of all the RSR crew.

"The guys did an awesome job getting our stuff on the car in such limited time" said Lee.

You can see the complete recorded race on Speedvision Friday, August, 25 at 8:00 PM.

Remember to watch for the white and orange number 28 Hooter’s Monte Carlo.

For more information about Regan and the team visit: http://www.regansmith.com

RSR Team and Regan Smith are located in Mooresville, NC and are currently looking for companies interested sponsorship opportunities.

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Regan Smith