Regan Smith Gets Into The JGR NXS No. 18 At Mid-Ohio

Regan Smith

NASCAR’s “summer swing,” the unofficial title for the stretch of races running from Memorial Day to Labor Day across the schedules of NASCAR’s top-three touring series, is a daunting segment of the nearly 10-month-long season and can be the difference maker for teams hoping to be a championship contender come playoff time.

Aside from the toll of crisscrossing the continental United States for events, it also happens to the hottest part of the season, with select race venues seeing record temperatures. The summer months can be taxing on both man and machine. Caring for the latter is one of the ways that Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) founding partner Interstate Batteries leverages its NASCAR program, through reminding consumers to have their batteries checked prior to any summer road trips.

Driver Regan Smith will help deliver that message – and perhaps a little more – during this weekend’s Mid-Ohio Challenge NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, where he will pilot the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for JGR.

A six-time winner in XFINITY Series competition, Smith goes into this weekend’s race a former winner at the 2.258-mile road course, having scored the victory during the track’s 2015 event.Saturday’s 75-lap race will be Smith’s fourth career start at Mid-Ohio. In addition to the 2015 win, Smith scored a runner-up finish in 2014, so he has one win and two top-five finishes. He’s completed 259 of the 259 laps run in his three starts for a perfect lap-completion record, and he has an average starting position of seventh and an average finishing position of sixth.

As impressive as Smith’s record at Mid-Ohio has been, so too has been his overall efforts in the series. In addition to six wins, Smith has a total of 30 top-fives and 79 top-10 finishes. From 2013 to 2015 – the last three seasons in which Smith competed in the series on a full-time basis – he finished the season ranked among the top-four in the championship point standings, including a career-best second place in 2014.

While he is a series veteran, it will still be a weekend of firsts for the Cato, New York, native. In addition to the race being his first start of the season in the XFINITY Series, it will also be his first time racing for JGR and being an ambassador for the Interstate Batteries brand.

Interstate Batteries has been powering the championship-winning organization for more than 25 years and is the “Official Battery of Joe Gibbs Racing.” The iconic brand is in the midst of celebrating its 65th anniversary and has featured special branding on each of the paint schemes to reflect the milestone during its 2017 campaign.

Given JGR’s record in XFINITY Series competition and his affinity for the track, Smith has high hopes of being more than just a “messenger” by adding another check in the win column at Mid-Ohio.

REGAN SMITH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
What challenges does Mid-Ohio present?

“Mid-Ohio is tough. It’s an extremely tight and technical road course that penalizes even the smallest mistake. It has less runoff room than a lot of the road courses we race at, which means you can end your day in a hurry. It’s one of my favorite tracks we visit.”

 

You had an exciting win there in 2015. What do you remember about that race?

“Yeah, the 2015 race there was fun. We had good speed the whole weekend and we were very similar in pace to the 22 car (Alex Tagliani). The last run of the race he was just slightly quicker than us, but he made just enough mistakes to where I was able to close in on him enough and make a move in the final corner. That was definitely one of the more exciting wins I’ve had, for sure.”

 

You have been competing in the XFINITY Series in some capacity since 2002, but this is your first time racing for JGR. Given their success in the XFINITY Series how much confidence does that give you going into the race weekend?

“Yes, this is my first race for JGR. My confidence is sky high going into Mid-Ohio. I know how fast the JGR equipment is, and I know what I’m capable of on that track. In my mind, there’s only one result that’s acceptable next weekend.”

 

Interstate Batteries is the founding partner for JGR. What does it mean to race with those colors, and do you have any memories of seeing the Interstate car on the track?

“Interstate Batteries has been around for as long as I can remember. I think when you have that kind of longevity in this sport the importance of it really speaks for itself. It’s great to be able to be a part of it. I think the biggest thing I remember about the Interstate Batteries car is one almost everyone talks about, and it’s the 1993 Daytona 500. I was in the stands watching that race – 9 years old at the time – and have so many images imprinted in my brain from it.”

Meet the No. 18 Interstate Batteries/Joe Gibbs Racing Team
Car No.: 18 – Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

 

At-Track PR Contact: Penny Copen Fender with True Speed Communication

704.875.3388 ext. 810 or Penny.Copen@TrueSpeedCommunication.com

Road Crew Members:

Driver: Regan Smith

 

Crew Chief: Eric Phillips

 

Car Chief: Chris Meyers

 

Engine Builder: Mark Cronquist

 

Engine Tuner: Roger Purcell

 

Tire Specialist: John Lanham

 

Engineer: Chris Whitenight

 

Engineer: Dustin Zacharyasz

 

Mechanic: John Egbert

 

Mechanic: Tyler Paxton

 

Truck Driver: Steve Fielder

 

Spotters: Mark Green, J Gotelaer, Jon Kerley, Steve Nivison

Pit Crew Members:

Front Tire Changer: Houston Stamper

 

Front Tire Carrier: Kevin Harris

 

Gas Man: Kenneth Purcell

 

Rear Tire Changer: Kip Wolfmeir

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Joe Crossen

 

Jack Man: Bailey Walker

 

 

Regan Smith Highlights at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course:
● Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be Smith’s fourth start in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition at the 2.4-mile road course.

● In three previous XFINITY Series starts at Mid-Ohio, Smith’s best result is the victory he scored during the track’s event in 2015. He also earned a runner-up finish at Mid-Ohio in 2014.

● Smith has completed 259 of the 259 laps run at Mid-Ohio in the three starts he’s made at the track for a perfect lap completion record. He has an average starting position of seventh, averages a finishing position of sixth and has led a total of 19 laps.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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