As Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves into broadcasting for the 2018 NASCAR season, another driver is taking on a bigger role.
Regan Smith will join FOX Sports’ race-day broadcast team next season as a pit road reporter during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series races, the network announced Wednesday. Smith currently serves as a driver analyst during FOX Sports 1’s program “NASCAR Race Hub,” and will continue to do so as he assumes his new responsibilities.
Although FOX already knew Smith could perform well on live TV, it reportedly wasn’t until he participated an all-driver broadcast during an Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway that it determined he’d be a good fit for the telecasts.
“We’ve enjoyed and appreciated Regan’s insight in the ‘NASCAR Race Hub’ studio but really had our eyes opened to his broadcasting potential at Iowa last summer,” Steve Craddock, FOX Sports vice president of NASCAR production, said in a statement. “A fan and peer favorite, he has proven himself seamless in translating his years of driving experience to the viewers at home.”
Smith, like Earnhardt — who will be a member of NBC Sports’ NASCAR coverage team — thinks that he will be able to bring a fresh perspective to viewers.
“When I had the opportunity to be in the FOX Sports booth at Iowa earlier in the year, the driver in me was really intrigued by the TV side of the sport,” Smith said. “So, my biggest goal in joining pit road is to be able to give viewers something they didn’t know before or to better help them understand something going on with the driver or the car.
“Since I am still competing, I can put into perspective what a driver is feeling at a particular moment.”
Smith, 34, has started more than 200 Cup races over the last 11 years, most recently replacing an injured Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Ford this season. His lone career Cup victory came at Darlington Raceway in 2011.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images
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