CUP: Regan Smith Adds “Another Polo Shirt” To Growing Collection

Jacob Seelman Cup, Featured 0 Comments

Regan Smith meets with the media prior to Monster Energy Open practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Ryan Willard photo)

CONCORD, N.C. — Regan Smith has gained the reputation of being the ‘super sub’ over the years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage, and with good reason.

After all, he’s spent time at Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart Haas Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing, filling in for the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson due to various situations and maladies.

Meeting the media on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in advance of the weekend’s Monster Energy All-Star activities, Smith said he’s learned one overarching thing from his time as a fill-in.

“I’ve learned I’ve got a hell of a polo shirt collection at this point,” Smith joked. ” I don’t know if there are any crew members in the garage that have been with more teams than I have. I guess the first time you do it, and I mentioned earlier that they’re all different and all unique in their own way.”

Smith said that unlike the first time he landed in a substitute role, after Earnhardt was sidelined due to a concussion during the 2012 playoffs, the situation he finds himself in with Richard Petty Motorsports is calmer, in a way.

“(When I filled in) for Junior in the 88 car, that was ironically also at Charlotte, and that one was a little more last minute. That was the day of … nobody knew he was hurt, so I didn’t even have it on my radar. I was coming here to hop in a different race car and was mentally prepared for that.”

“When you look at this particular situation there was a little bit of time. You could go to the shop. You can sit in the car. You can adjust things. It’s not quite as on the fly as that was. You mentally kind of prepare for what the weekend is gonna look like and you have an opportunity to sit down and talk. Me and Drew sat down and talked, and we’ve been around each other quite a bit this year anyways with the TV stuff that we do, so we’re familiar with each other and we’ve known each other from the past. … It makes it a little bit easier when you do have that time. Those other ones I’ve done in the past, where it was literally the day of, you just hoped that you fit (in the seat).”

The Cato, N.Y. veteran also paid a nod to the history of the car he will pilot this weekend, acknowledging the

“Man, I thought about (driving the 43) the other night and I’m like, ‘That’s pretty cool. That’s the King’s car you’re gonna hop into.’ It’s a special car and there’s a lot of history behind that car. I guess because me and Aric are friends I’ve got a little bit more of an emotional investment into this and wanting to do well for him and his team.”

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