Regan Smith will pilot the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Homestead-Miami Speedway, giving the Dale Earnhardt Jr. owned company three cars in this weekend’s season finale race. The race will mark the eighth event in which JRM has entered three cars this season. Smith’s entry is in preparation for 2013 when he’ll compete for a Nationwide Series Championship under the JRM banner in the No. 5 Chevrolet.
TAXSLAYER.COM TO KICK OFF UPCOMING BOWL SEASON AT HOMESTEAD – The familiar red and black paint scheme of the TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet will take on a new look this weekend. In promotion of TaxSlayer.com’s sponsorship of the 68th Gator Bowl, which will be played on Jan. 1, 2013, at Everbank Field in Jacksonville Fla., the car features a special football themed paint scheme. Cole Whitt will also wear a special helmet in the 300 mile race that replicates an actual football helmet. The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl will kickoff at Noon ET on Jan. 1, and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. It pairs the fifth selection after the BCS from the Southeastern Conference and the third selection after the BCS from the Big Ten Conference.
RECORD-SETTING RUNS WITH JRM - In the three years Patrick has competed for JR Motorsports, she has twice etched her name in the NASCAR history books and is on the cusp of doing so a third time. Patrick holds the distinction of being the highest-finishing female in any NASCAR national touring series race, following a fourth-place effort at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. After winning the pole in the season opening race at Daytona in 2012, she became the first woman in nearly 18 years to win a NASCAR pole award. Currently occupying the 10th spot in the driver standings, Patrick will finish no worse than 11th in championship points, giving her additional accolades as the all-time highest-finishing female in points among NASCAR’s top three series. The previous high was held by Sara Christian who finished 13th in the Sprint Cup standings in 1949.
SMITH’S CUP RECORD IN HOMESTEAD - Smith holds four starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the Sprint Cup level with a pair of top-20 finishes to his credit. With his best finish of 13th coming in 2011, Smith’s average finish at the facility is 24.0.
HISTORY WITH HOMESTEAD - Whitt made his debut in the Camping World Trucks Series at Homestead Miami Speedway in 2010, finishing 28th. The facility is one of six tracks where Whitt holds a start in each of NASCAR’s top-three touring series.
PATRICK’S CAREER STATS - Since joining JR Motorsports for her 13-race rookie campaign in 2010, Patrick has made 57 starts in Nationwide Series competition, earning one top-five and seven top-10 finishes. She earned one pole (Daytona 2012) and led a total of 55 laps.
JRM SEASON-ENDING STATS - Through 32 races this season, the JR Motorsports team cars have amassed nine top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. The team also earned one pole (Daytona 2012).
HENDRICKCARS.COM RETURNS ON NO. 5 CHEVROLET – For the second time in the 2012 season, the HendrickCars.com brand will be featured on a JRM Chevrolet. Cole Whitt drove the No. 88 HendrickCars.com ride to a 16th-place finish during the Bristol spring event. This week Regan Smith will wheel the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevy in the season finale at Homestead. HendrickCars.com is the best destination for online shoppers of cars, offering a selection of 20,000 new, used and classic automobiles. The site also offers CARFAX reports, nationwide delivery, and holds the distinction of housing one of the largest collections of manufacturer certified used cars in the world.
REGAN SMITH ON HOMESTEAD: “I’m thrilled about this opportunity. Being a part of JR Motorsports and the direction it’s heading means a lot to me. I think running at Homestead will give us a great head start on 2013. Our goal is to be the team that dominates races and contends for a championship. Races like this go a long way in helping the driver and team get acclimated to each other. I know a lot of the guys at JRM already, so this weekend will be a lot of fun, too. I’m looking forward to working with both Cole and Danica. I think there is a lot we all can learn from one another.”
DANICA PATRICK ON HOMESTEAD: “I definitely showed concern years and years ago about the length of the season. That was one of the things that held me back from committing to NASCAR. Now that I’m in it, and I feel like I’ve had a nice transition into it, I don’t mind at all. I like racing every weekend. The season could keep going and I’d be fine with that. Although I never turn down off time, and there is definitely a lot of stress and work, it’s fun at the same time. That’s surprising for me. I thought I would be very tired at this point in time. But I feel like I am figuring it out.”
COLE WHITT ON HOMESTEAD: “Homestead is a place that I always look forward to. I like how unique it is. We don’t run any mile-and-a-half tracks that don’t have a tri-oval except for Homestead. I think that makes it a lot different than what we’re used to. It also has progressive banking, which makes it really racy and lets you search around for where your car works best. “Our TaxSlayer team has one more chance to get in victory lane before the season is over. Nothing would be better for us than accomplishing that on Saturday night. We’ve been close a couple times this year, and a win would be huge for the entire organization.”