Regan Smith scores part-time Truck deal with Ricky Benton Racing

Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

Regan Smith was left as the odd-man out when Tommy Baldwin Racing shuttered it’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series operation last season, but the journeyman driver has landed a 2017 ride.

Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) announced Thursday that Smith will pilot the team’s No. 92 Ford for 12 races in the upcoming Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, with veteran Mike Hester assuming crew chief duties.

A native of Cato, N.Y., Smith will run with support from a host of sponsors including  BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors, Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Network, Advance Auto Parts and Valvoline.

“Ricky has invested a lot in his team because he loves to go racing,” Smith said in a release. “We have had discussions in the past about me coming to run a race or two with them, but it has never worked out in our schedules.
“When we got together this off season, we agreed to go racing and have some fun.”
RBR and Smith plan to contest the first six races of the year, beginning with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
“The draft is a great equalizer, so Daytona is a good place for us to work together for the first time,” Smith said. “It’s always a bit of a crap shoot, but I think with my experience in the draft will lead to a strong finish.”
Smith, 33, has seen his share of the NASCAR paddock over the years, competing for a litany of teams during a 15-year career that’s seen six XFINITY Series wins and a lone Cup victory in the 2011 Southern 500.
The veteran could become the 28th driver to claim a win in all three of NASCAR’s top series with a victory in the NCWTS.
“Regan is a talented driver who I have gotten to know over the years in the garage,” RBR owner Ricky Benton said in a release. “The last couple of years we have grown our program and are ready to take the next step. (Crew chief) Mike (Hester) has done a great job leading this team, building good trucks and making great calls at the track, and having a racer like Regan behind the wheel is going to put us where we want to be in 2017.”

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