NASCAR driver Regan Smith will return to Riverside International Speedway this summer to enter the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body for the fourth consecutive year. Smith will pilot the Nova Racing prepared No. 10 CAT Car for Kids - the second year Atlantic CAT has partnered with the track in support of the regions largest children's hospital.
Smith will return to Riverside for the July 17 event looking for redemption after a late-race incident in the 2009 edition of the IWK 250 saw the NASCAR driver parked by race officials - much to the chagrin of Smith - who looks forward to his annual jaunt north of the border.
"I am very excited to be coming back to Riverside," said Smith. "I really enjoy the racetrack, the people and the area. It's something that I look forward to doing every year, but perhaps more so this year after the way my race ended last year."
Last year Smith and eventual Maritime Pro Stock Tour series champion Shawn Turple got in a tussle that saw Turple's car wrecked and Smith's car parked.
"It wasn't my decision to park the car, but rather that of the officials," continued Smith. "While I respect their call to park me I didn't agree with it, as I was simply finishing something that I didn't start. There's a right way and a wrong way to pass another car on the track and I will race and drive other drivers the same way that they decide to race me. That's how I approach every race, and this race won't be any different."
Smith's DNF in '09 was in direct contrast to his win in the '08 edition of the race; in '07 he finished third.
Smith, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 78 car, will travel to Riverside on one of his few off-weekends over the gruelling 36-race NASCAR season that spans from February to November and travels all over the United States. After 11 races this year Smith is 31st in the series point standings with $1,182,245 in winnings. The IWK 250 is traditionally Smith's only appearance in Canada.
Besides the race, Smith is an annual visitor to the IWK Hospital in Halifax where he and other drivers visit with patients and their families just prior to the IWK 250. The CAT Car for Kids concept that debuted last year added a special touch to the event by allowing the patients and their families the opportunity to co-sponsor a NASCAR driver along with Atlantic CAT by offering the children the chance to write their names on the racecar. Naturally, they all get to meet their driver.
"We are very proud to be involved in the IWK 250 again this year," said James Bond, Marketing Manager for Atlantic CAT. "It gives us great pleasure to partner with Riverside International Speedway in supporting the IWK."
The CAT Car for Kids concept has been expanded this year to allow others to sign the car in exchange for a donation to the IWK. The 2010 racecar is on display until May 26 at Atlantic CAT's showroom in Dartmouth where fans are invited to stop by in support of the CAT Car for Kids and the IWK.
The funds collected during the campaign will be added to those generated during the IWK 250 weekend. Over the past three years the IWK 250 has raised in excess of $ 60,000 for the IWK.
The IWK 250 has grown from a one-day event at its inception in 2007 to a two-day event in '08 and '09 - to a three day event for 2010. Festivities start Thursday July 15 with a pre-race party followed by sportsman and legends racing Friday July 16 and culminating with pro stock practice, qualifying and the IWK 250 on Saturday July 17.
Besides Smith, the IWK 250 is expected to draw the best of the regions racers as they vye for their share of a purse expected to exceed $100,000.