Regan Smith will once again drive the No. 43 Ford in place of the injured Aric Almirola this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600.
Smith’s role as a substitute driver for Richard Petty Motorsports continues after he stepped in for Almirola last weekend in the Monster Energy Open. Smith finished fourth in the final stage of the race.
Almirola is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks as he recovers from a T5 compression fracture in his back. Almirola suffered the injury at Kansas Speedway in a major three-car crash.
MORE: Aric Almirola recounts Kansas crash.
Smith will be making his first start in a Cup points race this year. He currently drives for Ricky Benton Racing in the Camping World Truck Series.
Smith has 11 Cup starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a best finish of eighth in the 2011 Coke 600.
“To me, there are a lot of cool things about helping out again this weekend,” Smith said in a press release. “Being able to represent the Air Force on Memorial Day weekend and show appreciation to those who make the ultimate sacrifice is very special to me. I’m honored to race with Senior Airmen Mark Forester on the car and pay tribute to his sacrifice.
“As I said many times last weekend, to get to drive ‘The King’s’ 43 car means so much to me. The Coca-Cola 600 is one of my favorite races of the year, and Sunday is the coolest motorsports day. It will be a lot more fun being a part of such an iconic day than just being a spectator for all of the races.”
A testimonial to Cole Pearn’s best friend, who unexpectedly passed away in early August, as well as a fundraiser for his family will be held Friday, Jan. 5, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Pearn’s lifelong friend, Jacob Damen, died unexpectedly after contracting a fast-moving bacterial infection on August 3.
Pearn, crew chief for the 2017 NASCAR Cup championship for Furniture Row Racing, will oversee the gala event, which will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. ET.
The evening will also include an appearance by 2017 NASCAR Cup champion Martin Truex Jr., silent and live auctions, the opportunity to meet both Pearn and Truex and other events.
All net proceeds from the evening will be given to the Damen Family Fund.
“We miss our buddy Jacob dearly,” Pearn said in a media release. “We all have family and friends that fill a space in our hearts that is irreplaceable.
“Jacob filled the hearts of his wife Carolyn, his sons Lucas and Nolan, his parents Jerry and Kim Damen, twin brother Tyler, sister Julia and countless friends.
“We are going to celebrate his life at the perfect spot, the Hockey Hall of Fame, to support his beautiful wife Carolyn and the two boys, Lucas and Nolan. I can’t wait to get home to celebrate with everyone.”
Click here for more details and to purchase tickets to the ‘Jacob Damen Friend and Fan Remembered’ event.
The annual NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will return to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, next month.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, the day after the 2018 Hall of Fame class is inducted.
Fans will be able to take part in an autograph session with current national series drivers, Hall of Famers and members of the NASCAR Next class, as well photo opportunities and question-and-answer sessions with a number of NASCAR legends.
Admission to Hall of Fame will be free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis
Admission to driver autograph sessions is free but will require a ticket for participation. Fans can register for the driver autograph sessions at nascarhall.com beginning Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET. A full driver autograph session schedule will be announced at a later date.
and on Facebook
Ryan Blaney has a particular set of skills; skills that he’s developed through years of professional auto racing.
The Team Penske driver will get to display those skills next year on NBC’s “Taken” TV Series.
The show serves as a prequel to the 2008 Liam Neeson film of the same name.
Blaney, 23, will guest start on the second season of the series, which premieres Jan. 12. He will appear in an episode titled “Imperium” as a special agent who knows his way around a car.
Here’s the plot synopsis for the episode.
“When a dangerous weapons dealer smuggles his wares into New York City, Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) teams up with the FBI in a race to stop him before he reaches the safety of international waters.”
This won’t be Blaney’s first time in front of a camera playing someone else. He had two movie cameos this year in Logan Lucky and Cars 3.
Blaney was filming his role in “Taken” on Tuesday in Ontario. See his tweets from the set below.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram’s condition continues to improve following a serious car crash in his native Asheville, North Carolina on Dec. 3.
According to an online post by his daughter, Ingram was taken out of Intensive Care on Tuesday and moved into an Acute Care facility, which is not as serious as ICU is.
Ingram did suffer a small setback in his recovery, developing a slight infection that is being treated with antibiotics.
Added the note from Ingrid Jones, Jack’s daughter, “The acute care facility will work to start decreasing his pain meds, over time, and put him on less narcotics and more simple analgesics (like really strong Tylenol, but without narcotics).
“Also they will continue his therapies, physical and occupational, as he’s able. It is still hard to know what his long-term health future will be, but we think his color looks really good, and we have no doubts that he has the will and determination to see this through.
“So if it is humanly possible for him to overcome, he will.”
We’ll continue to have periodic updates on Ingram’s condition as they become available.