Get the latest Regan Smith news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Can the JR Motorsports driver hold off teammate Chase Elliott this season? RELATED: Complete schedule for driver previews Team: JR Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet Rank in final 2014 standings: Second Wins: 1 (Daytona in February) Strides: In spite of a crew chief change that saw Ryan Pemberton take over for Greg Ives (who joined JRM teammate Chase Elliott ) prior to the start of the season, Smith wasted no time in getting into Victory Lane, winning the series' first race at Daytona. Although it was his lone win for the year, Smith reeled off 13 consecutive top-10s to open the season, led the points for 11 weeks and recorded a career-best second-place points finish. "I thought that we got the speed where we needed it at the end of the year," Smith said. "We struggled a little bit with communication early on. Once we learned each other as a group and got those things figured out, the speed started coming back to us." Setbacks: Smith had only two finishes outside the top 20 and his team appeared competitive in most areas and at most venues. However he was unable to close the gap on his teammate down the stretch, finishing ahead of Elliott in just two of the final 10 races. "We had some opportunities that we missed to really make things tighter when it came down to the end and put some pressure on Chase at the end of the year," he said. "To his credit he didn't falter anywhere. There were a lot of points in the season where people said 'He's a rookie; he's going to make a mistake here or there or something's going to happen’ and he didn't. "He drove like a veteran and it was great for him and great for JR Motorsports to see that. But I think for the No. 7 car, we're going to think about the what-ifs. More importantly, what can we do going into (2015) take care of the what-ifs to make sure they don't happen again." Quoteworthy: "There were times when I was frustrated as a driver and I think it showed up on the track because of how I was driving. You've got to be careful not to let that happen." What's next: With Pemberton moving back into his role as director of competition for JRM, Smith will be working with Jason Burdett, his third crew chief in three years. Burdett previously worked at Hendrick Motorsports , and served as car chief for Jimmie Johnson ('02), Jeff Gordon ('08-10) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . ('11-14). "We can all work on a lot of areas, myself included," Smith said. "Restarts and qualifying for me have just been atrocious for the past two years. I can't really highlight why. I think this offseason is going to be really important to highlight why and figure that out. Because in order to contend and get the track position and the clean air that we really need, those two things have to improve." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver, team owner break the news on Twitter RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today If it ain't broken, don't fix it -- an adage that Regan Smith and Dale Earnhardt Jr . both live by. Dale Jr. took to Twitter to report that Smith and his Nationwide Series team, JR Motorsports, have a deal in place for 2015. Smith later confirmed the news on Twitter as well. @DaleJr @JRMotorsports can’t wait! Looking forward to 2015, and a strong finish to 2014! — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) October 1, 2014 Smith has spent the past two seasons with JRM as the full-time driver of the team's No. 7 Chevrolet. The veteran was brought on full-time last season after running one race with the organization in 2012, a win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The 31-year-old has been a title contender in his two seasons at JRM, finishing third in the 2013 Nationwide championship race behind Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr . This season, Smith trails only his JRM teammate, rookie Chase Elliott , in the standings. In 28 races this season, Smith has a win, which came in the season-opening race at Daytona, seven top-five finishes and 24 top-10 finishes. All four of his career Nationwide Series victories have come with the organization. Smith also has a Sprint Cup Series win to his credit, which came in 2011 at Darlington as the full-time driver in the sport's top series for Furniture Row Racing . He ran one Sprint Cup race this season, filling in for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen with a 37th-place finish. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Regan Smith states he and his team never lost focus to grab the win in the first race of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
Will the 2014 champ's momentum continue into 2015? RELATED: Complete schedule for driver previews Team: JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet Rank in final 2014 standings: First Wins: Three (Texas in April; Darlington in April; Chicago in July) Strides: Won a pole (or two)? Check. Won a race (or three)? Check. Sunoco Rookie of the Year? Check. Series champion? Absolutely. Elliott, 19, was the surprise story of the year for the Nationwide (now XFINITY ) Series, becoming the first driver to win the championship in his rookie season. The son of 1988 premier series champion Bill Elliott, the youngster drove more like an experienced veteran than a fresh-faced kid with no prior starts in the series. "There were a lot of points in the season when people said 'he's a rookie, he's going to make a mistake here or there' and he didn't," teammate Regan Smith said. "He drove like a veteran and it was great for him and great for JR Motorsports to see that." As surprising as his first career win was at Texas, perhaps more impressive was following up that victory just a week later at Darlington, one of the series' most difficult tracks, with a second consecutive win. In addition to his three victories, Elliott ended the season with 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. His average finishing position of 8.0 was No. 1 among those running full-time in the series. Elliott was always quick to point to the efforts of others. "I feel like all these people along the way have made me look a heck of a lot better than I really am," he said. "It's been an honor to work with these guys ... not just this year, but all along the way. It's been fun." Setbacks: Elliott didn't always shine -- his best finish on the superspeedways of Daytona and Talladega was 15th. But for the most part, he ran with and often outran Sprint Cup drivers making the occasional stop in the series. Quoteworthy: "He's so much better than I ever through about being." -- Bill Elliott What's next: With JRM's ties to Hendrick Motorsports , the road to a ride at the Sprint Cup level seemed to clear a bit with the recent announcement of Jeff Gordon 's pending retirement. Before that either does or doesn't take place however, Elliott will spend another year in the XFINITY Series. Greg Ives, who served as crew chief, has moved up to Sprint Cup to be paired with Dale Earnhardt Jr ., a co-owner of JRM. Veteran crew chief Ernie Cope will now be paired with Elliott. "Winning more races and not letting the same people beat you every week ... is the biggest thing," Elliott said of the '15 season. "Keeping it about as simple as possible. ... I see things I can improve on personally and stepping up and not letting people out‑drive you every week because I feel like that's happened a lot this year. "I'd like to minimize those weekends, and I feel like we have the cars, the teams, the motors, the group of people to go and contend with the best. We've just got to put it all together ... not talk about it anymore and go do it." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Regan Smith talks about the ups and downs of his career and the journey to JR Motorsports
Regan Smith wins the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Regan Smith and car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. talk about winning the Aarons 312 at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Regan Smith celebrates in Victory Lane after he wins the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway
Following season-opening win at Daytona, Smith looks to build off of success