Stewart-Haas Racing names Regan Smith to drive No. 41 at Atlanta
After a solid 16th-place finish in Sunday’s Daytona 500, Regan Smith will again drive the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, the team announced Monday.
SHR also said in a news release that a driver to replace the indefinitely suspended Kurt Busch for the following race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and beyond has not yet been determined.
Busch is on indefinite suspension for allegedly committing an act of domestic abuse against his former girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll.
Busch has denied the allegations and has not been charged with any criminal offense, but NASCAR suspended him last Friday after Kent County (Delaware) Commissioner David Jones ruled that "it is more likely than not" that Busch "committed an act of abuse" against Driscoll during a dispute last Sept. 26, 2014, at Dover International Speedway.
In his ruling in favor of Driscoll’s request for a protective order barring Busch from contacting her, Jones said Busch "committed an act of domestic violence" against Driscoll "by manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motor home, thereby recklessly placing (Driscoll) in reasonable fear of physical injury."
Representatives from SHR and Busch’s public relations team told FOX Sports 1’s Alan Cavanna on Monday that they have not received any word from NASCAR about what steps Busch will have to take before he can apply for reinstatement.
Smith will take part in Thursday’s open test at Atlanta on Thursday and will be in the car for the remainder of the weekend.
Sunday’s race will be Smith’s third with SHR. In addition to the Daytona 500, Smith also filled in for Tony Stewart in the No.14 SHR Chevy at Watkins Glen International last August , the morning after Stewart was involved in a fatal sprint car crash in Upstate New York that left fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. dead.
A native of Cato, New York Smith, 31, was the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and won the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. He is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where he drives for JR Motorsports.
His most recent Sprint Cup start at the 1.54-mile Atlanta oval was on Sept. 2, 2012 when he finished 14th.