Dale Earnhardt Jr. eluded that he had a secret that was coming out soon. He also hinted that the band was getting back together.
Of course, this led to wild speculation. Would he announce Steve Letarte as his crew chief at Darlington? Would the Eurys be back for one last go around with Dale Jr. at Darlington? Was there another Earnhardt baby on the way?
Calm down everyone, the secret is officially out, and it’s not what you expected. On Wednesday’s episode of NASCAR RaceHub on FS1, Regan Smith announced that he will be running in the No. 8 car for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio and Road America this season.
“I can’t tell you how pumped I am for this,” Smith said in a JR Motorsports press release. “Dale, Kelley and everyone at JRM have been like family to me, so in a way, it feels like I’m coming home. I have great memories of the years I spent there and the success we had during that time. And to have Fire Alarm on board for these races makes it all the more meaningful. They’ve been both friends and supporters of mine for a long time.”
On RaceHub, Smith said he was nervous about the deal being finalized because he knows Earnhardt is bad at keeping secrets. Luckily Earnhardt was able to keep things under wraps long enough for Smith to get the ink dry on the contracts.
“Regan is a great friend, and he means so much to our company,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a press release. “He won a lot of races here, but for me his significance was no more evident than in his very first race for JRM at the end of 2012. That win at Homestead was enormous. It ended a winless streak for JR Motorsports that had dragged us down for more than two years. It was a tone-setter. It gave us momentum that, to be honest, I’m not sure we’ve ever lost. That’s what Regan means to this company, and that’s why I’m thrilled to have him back for these two races at Mid-Ohio and Road America.”
Smith’s car will be black and bright green and will have sponsorship from Fire Alarm Services. The scheme is a throwback to Smith’s last Xfinity Series win at Dover from 2015.
— JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) June 19, 2019
Smith has one win in NASCAR’s Premier Series, which came in the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. In Xfinity Series competition, Smith has six victories including a victory at Mid-Ohio in 2015.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.