Southern 500 winner Regan Smith told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Friday that he’s looking for a ride for the upcoming NASCAR season and didn’t rule out running in any of the top three national series.
Smith, who co-hosted “The Morning Drive,’’ was left without a ride after Tommy Baldwin Racing sold its charter after last season and reduced its involvement in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The organization has stated it would seek to make the Daytona 500 with Elliott Sadler but has not announced any other Cup plans.
Asked what he will be doing this season, Smith told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “Working on stuff. I wish I had a better answer for you. It’s down to crunch time. We’ll see what happens. There have been some opportunities here and there.
“I’ll just be brutally honest, when it comes to and pertains to the Cup series, you want to be competitive when you’re out there. This year I’m willing to wait until I can get myself in a situation to where I’m competitive and I can actually go out and do what I feel like I’m capable of.
“With that said, you have a little different mindset during the offseason when that is your thought process. We’re working through some stuff. That’s not to say that I won’t do some Xfinity and Truck races here and there in the meantime.
“I like racing at Daytona, so I’d like to be down there in something. We’ll see how that all plays out. I’m not done racing. I love racing. I love driving cars. I enjoy different kind of things. I’d like to be a part of the sport. Whether that is behind the wheel or different avenues or different things, we’ll see how it goes.’’
The 33-year-old Smith has 211 career Cup starts and won the 2011 Southern 500. He had two top-10 finishes last year for Tommy Baldwin Racing, placing third at Pocono in the fog-shortened race and finishing eighth in the Daytona 500.
Smith has six wins in 205 career Xfinity starts. He finished in the top four in points in that series from 2013-15, scoring five wins during that time with JR Motorsports. Smith also has 23 Camping World Truck Series starts but last drove in that series in 2008.
and on Facebook
NASCAR handed out two crew chief suspensions in the Cup this week following the race weekend in Phoenix while another was upheld on appeal.
Brad Keselowski‘s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, was suspended three races and the team was docked 35 driver and owners points for failing weights and measurements in post-race inspection.
Kevin Harvick‘s crew chief, Rodney Childers, was suspended one race and the team docked 10 driver and owner points for an unapproved track bar slider assembly.
The penalties for AJ Allmendinger‘s team, including the suspension of crew chief Randall Burnett, was upheld after an appeal.
The NASCAR America crew debates which team is hurt the most by their penalties.
We now have two positive reviews of the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
Following AJ Allmendinger‘s comments back in January, IndyCar legend Mario Andretti has shared his thoughts on the 2.4-mile circuit that will likely host a NASCAR Cup race in fall 2018.
As a guest of the track and the NASCAR Racing Experience, the 77-year-old driver piloted two cars – a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid and a 2017 Cadillac CTS-V. Andretti maxed out at 177 mph in the Porsche.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to really create a road course where you can ‘stretch your legs’ inside an oval,” Andretti said in a press release. “From that standpoint, I think they did a good job by giving it rhythm by putting some banking to the hairpin corners – which obviously invites some overtaking. It’s wide enough that you can choose a line. You’re not really trapped. … It’s got a multiple-line (groove) that you can choose from, depending on the capability of the car.”
The “roval” circuit would use most of the 1.5-mile oval NASCAR already competes on.
Allmendinger took part in a data test on the road course in mid-January and later said it “was a lot of fun.”
Earlier this month, Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Marcus Smith said the track “learned a lot” from the test.
“We have done a lot to engineer a world-class road course that would include the ‘roval,'” Smith told NBC Sports, adding that “several truckloads of crash walls and catchfence” were being transported in for installation.
The Cup Series has two road courses on it schedule, at Sonoma Raceway in California and Watkins Glen International in New York.
and on Facebook
The drivers of the Furniture Row Racing hauler carrying Erik Jones’ No. 77 Toyota were uninjured Thursday in a hit-and-run accident 15 miles north of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Travis Watts, who was behind the wheel, and David Shano were traveling from Phoenix Raceway to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, when their tractor-trailer rig was struck shortly after midnight on Interstate 15, according to a team release. The team said a car carrying two occupants pulled off the shoulder and back onto the highway directly in front of the truck, causing front-end damage to the tractor.
The team said there was no damage to the trailer or its interior, which was carrying Jones’ cars.
“We’re all very relieved no one was injured in the incident,” team president Joe Garone said. “There was substantial damage to the tractor, but everything in the trailer was checked out thoroughly and is OK. We’ve rented a tractor and the No. 77 hauler is on schedule to arrive at Auto Club Speedway later (Thursday).”
The team rented a replacement tractor at a Rush Truck Centers in North Las Vegas.
According to the team, the Nevada Highway Patrol apprehended and arrested the occupants of the car. The team is working to supply police with a video dash cam from the No. 77 tractor.
Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs for 90 minutes beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and previews this weekend’s action at Auto Club Speedway.
Krista Voda hosts with Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut. Dale Jarrett joins them from Burton’s Garage.
On today’s show:
- My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows continues as we visit Central Arizona Speedway in Casa Grande. We’ll also discuss some fun facts about the Grand Canyon State.
- 2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick has been on a roller coaster ride through four races this season. Now, he heads home to California where he looks to grab his first win of the season. We’ll take a trip to Harvick’s hometown of Bakersfield and examine his Racing Roots.
- Kligerman jumps in the simulator to see what challenges the drivers will face this weekend in Fontana.
If you can’t catch the show on TV, you also can watch it via the online stream at http://nascarstream.nbcsports.com
If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.
Once you plug-in that information, you’ll have access to the stream.
Click here at 5:30 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.