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NASCAR’S Regan Smith to return to Riverside for The IWK 250

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Regan Smith will make a return to Riverside International Speedway July 18 & 19 for the 2008 edition of the IWK 250 Presented by DuPont Refinish and Steve Lewis Auto Body. Smith, driver of the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 01 in NASCAR’s elite series, will be seeking to improve his podium finish in the 2007 IWK 250. “I finished third last year and I want to improve on that,” said Smith, who hails from Cato, New York. “Second place is the worst position to finish in - so I guess that means I want nothing but to win. The car owner already told me I could use the checkers or wreckers policy to make that happen.”

Regan Smith prior to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Speedway, Hampton, GA in 2007

Smith will wheel a car owned by Nova Racing out of Antigonish as a teammate to regional racing stars Donald Chisholm (Antigonish) and George Koszkulics (New Glasgow). Smith’s ’08 IWK 250 racecar was unveiled at the Atlantic Heavy Equipment show in Moncton (NB) bearing No. 08 and sponsored by Komatsu and Wilson Equipment. This year the IWK 250 will present a different format in as much as the competition rules have been tuned and tailored to better compliment racers from the Maritimes region as well as their counterparts from the northeastern seaboard of the United States. With a purse that exceeds $100,000 and the winner having an opportunity to take home $24,000 (including potential bonus awards) it is no wonder more than 40 top pro stock drivers have already registered for the race.

With only 30 spots open on the starting grid competition will be fierce during four rounds of qualifying to earn their way into what will be the richest stock car race ever run in the Maritimes: the IWK 250.

With the race being sanctioned by the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour, the “Supershow” will see the series competitors vie for the race winners bragging rights as well as valuable series championship points. All four of the series former champions have already entered: Wayne Smith (Halifax), John Flemming (Halifax), Shawn Tucker (Fredericton, NB) and Rollie MacDonald (Pictou). While the CARQUEST Tour sanctions the IWK 250, special rules apply that set it apart from other series events. With the race date being an off-weekend for the Pro All Stars Series North division, entries have already been received by top New England drivers including Maine’s Travis Benjamin, Johnny Clark and Kirk Thibeau.


Regan Smith, driver of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series #39 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL in 2007

With all of these components put together the stage will be set to attract a full house of enthusiastic race fans and most importantly to raise as much money as possible for the IWK Health Centre – with the goal being to exceed the $20,000 raised at the event in 2007 for the regions foremost children’s hospital. Regan Smith, who rubs fenders with the best stock car racers in the world on a weekly basis, sees the calibre of competition at the IWK 250 as formidable. “The competition was very strong,” said Smith of his experience in ‘07. “The drivers raced me clean, but hard.” Smith was equally impressed with the fans at Riverside. “The fans were great,” said Smith. “I did not realize how big racing is in Nova Scotia but was pleasantly surprised. They know their stuff so that makes it fun to put on a good race for them.”

The IWK 250 has grown to a two-day event for 2008 with Friday featuring the Napa 100 for the Highland Home Hardware Sportsman Series as well as AMP Open Wheel racing. Saturday will see a full slate of activities including qualifying and pre-race festivities for the pro stocks along with the Kenworth Nova Scotia Maritime Legends Challenge; the day will culminate with the running of the IWK 250 presented by DuPont Refinish and Steve Lewis Auto Body.

About Regan Smith
At just age 24 Smith already has 20 years of racing experience. Getting his start in a go-kart at just four years old he moved to quarter-midgets at 12 winning championships in both divisions. He went on to race in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series and the Allison Legacy Series where he won rookie honours and the series championship in 2001. Smith began his NASCAR career at age 18 with two Craftsman Truck Series starts in 2002, the same year he made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. In 2007 he made seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts as a developmental driver under the tutelage of series veteran Mark Martin. 2008 sees Regan Smith contending for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year title - currently best in class over fellow rookie contenders including 2007 IndyCar Series champ Dario Franchitti. To learn more about Regan Smith please visit www.regansmith.com.   

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