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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Regan Smith Remains Aric Almirola’s Substitute for Dover

Regan Smith gets to enjoy another week in the King Richard Petty’s court.

Richard Petty Motorsports announced in a press release on Wednesday (May 31) that Smith will continue to drive the organization’s No. 43 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway this weekend, as primary driver Aric Almirola continues to recover from a compression fracture to his T5 vertebra suffered in a wreck at Kansas Speedway.

The Cato, N.Y., native piloted Petty’s famed No. 43 for the past two weeks. He placed fourth in the Monster Energy All-Star Open and 22nd in the Coca-Cola 600 after running in the top 20 for most of the race.

“I keep saying it, but I’m honored to drive the No. 43 Ford for Richard (Petty) and his team,” Smith said. “I think we learned a lot at Charlotte and work together well. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I really like Dover.”

Smith has 12 prior MENCS starts at Dover, with an average finish of 27.2. He won the XFINITY Series race at the track in 2015, his most recent of his six career wins in that series. That same year, the No. 43, with Almirola driving, finished fifth in both Dover races.

“My last win in NASCAR was at Dover, so I’m really looking forward to getting back there in the Monster Energy Series this weekend,” Smith said. “The No. 43 team has some good runs at Dover in the last few years, so hopefully, we can tame the Monster and get a solid finish.”

The 2011 Southern 500 champion will be doing double duty this weekend, as he will also be competing in the Camping World Truck Series race at Dover in Ricky Benton’s No. 92.

In addition to being without its primary driver, the No. 43 team is also without its crew chief as Drew Blickensderfer serves the final race of a three-race suspension for failing the post race inspection at Talladega Superspeedway. Scott McDougall continues to serve in the interim.

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