Thursday, October 11, 2012

Opportunities abound for Regan Smith

   Regan Smith may have lost a ride but not for long.

    Last weekend was Smith's last with the Furniture Row Racing team but he unexpectedly picked up a ride in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a fill-in for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

     Earnhardt will miss at least the next two races while he recovers from lingering effects from two concussions over the past six weeks. Hendrick Motorsports tapped Smith to drive Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet while Earnhardt remains on the sidelines.

   Smith's association with Earnhardt isn't likely to end anytime soon.
   Smith is expected to drive a full Nationwide Series schedule in 2013 with JR Motorsports, several sources said Thursday. Rick Hendrick, who has partial ownership in JRM, said Thursday the organization was talking to Smith about a Nationwide ride.

    “If Mr. H said it, usually what Mr. H says is gospel,” Smith said.

    Ryan Truex, who ran a partial Nationwide schedule at Joe Gibbs Racing this season, is also expected to join JRM next season, sources said.

Baby born at NH track dies

   A baby born unexpectedly on Sept. 12 in the parking lot of New Hampshire Motor Speedway has died, according to a report by The Union Leader newspaper.

   Katie Ann Hebert was pronounced dead early Monday at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, where she was taken by ambulance after she was found not breathing at home. She was three weeks old.

   Katie Ann was born to Shauna Arnold, 27, in the NHMS front parking lot, while en route to Concord Hospital from their home about 45 minutes away in Belmont, N.H. Katie could not wait, so Shauna's boyfriend wisely pulled into the speedway.

   The track was hosting a Rusty Wallace Driving School event, so an was ambulance on hand. By the time NHMS director of operations Tom Blanchette got to the car to assist, Katie had already been delivered.

   Katie and her mom took part in a news conference at the speedway on Sept. 23.

  To read the complete story, go here.

   For an account of the news conference at the speedway, go here.