Announced today at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Regan Smith will fill in this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for Dale Earnhardt Jr is out for two weeks with his second concussion in the last few weeks. Smith was scheduled to race in the No.51 for James Finch this weekend but when Earnhardt Jr’s crew chief Steve Letarte texted Smith about driving the No.88 this weekend, Smith was interested.
Reagan Smith raced his final race in the No.78 car last weekend in Talladega after driving that car for three and a half seasons. Smith was scheduled to depart from Furniture Row Racing (FRR) following the 2012 season but FRR wanted to get their 2013 driver, Kurt Busch, a head start in the car so Furniture Row Racing sent Smith packing after Talladega. Smith quickly put a deal together to race the car Kurt Busch was departing from, the No.51 James Finch Car, and Smith was scheduled to finish out the season in that car.
Once the opportunity to drive the No.88 Hendrick Motorsports car came up, Smith jumped on the opportunity. Smith will be competing Saturday Night in the No.88 car and he will be in the car next weekend at Kansas.
If Earnhardt Jr is medically cleared to race the Martinsville race, he will be back in the car and Smith will likely be in the No.51 car. Smith will have the best opportunity for victory in his career this and next weekend in the No.88 car for one of NASCAR’s top team, Hendrick Motorsports.