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Smith : 'I wish they had something like (the Chase) for our series'
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
In addition to Elliott, Smith will also have new crew chief in 2015 DORAL, Fla. -- JR Motorsports just completed its most successful season, with drivers Chase Elliott and Regan Smith finishing 1-2 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series . But changes are ahead for the 10-year-old organization founded by Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr ., and capably run by Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of the team as well as the vice president and business manager of the organization. Ryan Pemberton, who as served in the dual role of competition director and crew chief for the No. 7 Chevrolet team fielded for Smith , will return to the singular role of competition director. Greg Ives, who guided Elliott and the No. 9 team to the championship, is moving to Hendrick Motorsports to replace Steve Letarte atop the pit box for Earnhardt in the Sprint Cup Series. Ives will be replaced by Ernie Cope, a veteran crew chief that has overseen the third team, the No. 5, at JRM that has featured several drivers, including Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick , behind the wheel. That leaves a need for a crew chief for Smith as well someone for the No. 5 entry (which will be the No. 88 entry next season in the XFINITY Series), something Earnhardt said has been addressed and will be announced likely as soon as week's end. "Ryan has been the competition director (at JRM) for years," Earnhardt said Monday evening. "He sort of did me a (favor) last year by dropping down and filling a hole for us when Greg moved over to Chase. "This is something we've been working on for several months. He's going back to competition director (only) role. I think he's got a lot of strengths to be able to fill the role a little better without having to be a crew chief at the same time. It's been a distraction for him. I need him in the competition director's role and that's where he wants to be. "We're bringing in someone for the No. 5; we've moved Ernie over to the No. 9, and going to bring a new guy for the No. 7 (of Smith )." Elliott, the talented 18-year-old from Dawsonville, Georgia, captured the series championship as well as Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, accomplishments for which he was recognized here Monday evening during the annual Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series awards ceremony. He was also named the series' most popular driver. The son of 1988 NASCAR premier series champion Bill Elliott , the younger Elliott won three times, scoring his first series win at Texas Motor Speedway in April and following that up with a win a week later at Darlington Raceway . He also won at Chicago and ended the season with 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. Smith , third in points in 2013, won the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway and also finished the season with 26 top-10 results for a career-best points finish. "To ask (Pemberton) to do two jobs is a lot to ask of anybody at this level," said Smith . "We're going to make some adjustments there and carry on into 2015." Otherwise, he said, his No. 7 group should have few changes in personnel for ’15. "You know some people move during the offseason and decide they want to do some different things or something like that," Smith said, "but what I know as of right now it should look very similar." 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.
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 caps off his return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a win in Homestead.
An emotional Regan Smith comments on his first career Sprint Cup Series victory.
Regan Smith and car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. talk about winning the Aarons 312 at the Talladega Superspeedway.