Defending Winner Smith Gears Up for Daytona

No. 7 Hellmann’s Chevrolet

Regan Smith won last year’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona by 0.013 seconds over Brad Keselowski. Smith’s first career victory at Daytona was the second-closest finish in series history at the track. He’s been a restrictor-plate hero at JRM, too. In his last three starts at Daytona and Talladega, he’s finished first, third and second, leading 102 laps. His average finish is 4.83 over six total restrictor-plate races with JRM and he’s led 133 laps in those six starts. Smith won at Talladega in 2013. His worst finish was 14th at Daytona in 2013, his first plate race with the team.  

“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and racing. With the changes we made to our team, I’m looking forward to working with Jason Burdett as the crew chief and seeing him grow in that position. Our relationship was good before he came to work there, and it’s gotten better since he’s come to JR Motorsports. The more I’ve been around him, and the more I’ve seen how he acts with the guys, how the guys act around him, it’s done nothing but get me more excited about getting everything started."

“We know we can win here, because we did it last year. We know we have great equipment, and the guys at JRM do a great job making sure it’s the best out there. We feel like we have a great shot at Victory Lane this weekend.”

Jason Burdett takes over as crew chief for Regan Smith and the defending Daytona champion No. 7 Hellmann’s Chevrolet team. Burdett most recently served as car chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports.

Smith has finished no worse than eighth in his last three starts on the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He was eighth in the summer race in 2013, won the February race last year and finished second in the summer event last season.

Both Smith and Burdett are New York natives, with Smith hailing from Cato and Burdett from Arkdale. Last year, the home-state mojo led to Victory Lane, as Smith combined with Saratoga native Ryan Pemberton to win at Daytona.

In the good-news department, every team member with the exception of Pemberton returns for the 2015 season. That chemistry should be on display as the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series season unfolds.

Keep up with JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) on Twitter. You can also follow the JRM team (@JRMotorsports) or check in on the JR Motorsports Facebook page.

Smith at Daytona (NXS):

  Starts 10
  Wins 1
  Top 5's 2
  Top 10's 3
  Poles 0
  Laps Led 106
  Avg. Start 20.7
  Avg. Finish 17.4

Smith 2015 Season Stats (NXS):

  Starts 0
  Wins 0
  Top 5's 0
  Top 10's 0
  Poles 0
  Laps Led 0
  Avg. Start 0.0
  Avg. Finish 0.0

Smith Career Stats (NXS):

  Starts 169
  Wins 4
  Top 5's 19
  Top 10's 52
  Poles 1
  Laps Led 461
  Avg. Start 17.5
  Avg. Finish 19.2