CERRO GORDO, N.C. — Ricky Benton Racing announced Thursday that Regan Smith will drive the team’s No. 92 Ford F-150 in 12 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season, starting with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Feb. 24.
“Regan is a talented driver who I have gotten to know over the years in the garage,” said team owner Ricky Benton. “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.”
For Smith, Benton’s enthusiasm and commitment to his race team is part of what attracted him to the ride.
“Ricky has invested a lot in his team because he loves to go racing,” Smith said. “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.”
Smith’s planned 12 race schedule will include the first six Truck races, including Daytona.
“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 was also impressed with the start of RBR’s season in 2016, finishing in the top 10 in the first three races of the year.
“The challenge this year will be to keep (that momentum) going through those first six races and assess where we are and work to be stronger in all the races we run.”
Even with a new driver this year, there is a great deal of continuity at RBR this year. Hester will again be again calling the shots on race day as crew chief, and the team is running Ford F-150s with Roush-Yates engines for the fourth year.
Also returning are sponsors Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Network, Valvoline and Advance Auto Parts.
“We are proud to continue our support of Ricky Benton Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Advance Auto Parts Marketing and Sponsorships Manager Matt Davis. “Ricky and the Black’s Tire team run a first class operation and we look forward to joining them in the winner’s circle in 2017.”
“I really appreciate the support of Black’s Tire and BTS, Goodyear Commercial, Valvoline and Advance to help us go racing this year,” added Smith. “And I can’t thank Ricky enough for the opportunity to drive his trucks.”
CREDIT: Red Flag Communications