Supersub Regan Smith to fill in for Aric Almirola in All-Star qualifying race

Regan Smith is currently 10th in the Truck Series points standings. (Getty)

Regan Smith is substituting again.

Richard Petty Motorsports said Smith would drive the No. 43 for Aric Almirola in Saturday night’s qualifying for the All-Star Race. Almirola suffered a compression fracture to his T5 vertebra in a violent crash at Kansas Speedway.

No timeline for Almirola’s absence has been announced by the team, though RPM and Almirola will have a news conference on Friday morning and will likely provide an update then.

Smith has been without a Cup Series ride in 2017 after driving a full season for Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2016. TBR announced at the end of the season that it would scale back to a part-time schedule and Smith has driven all four Truck Series races in 2017 in the No. 92 truck.

Before racing for TBR for a season, Smith was the Cup Series’ ubiquitous substitute driver after he parted ways with Furniture Row Racing in 2012. He drove for Dale Earnhardt Jr. for two races in 2012, a race for Tony Stewart in 2014, three races for Kurt Busch in 2015 and a race for Kyle Larson in that season as well. Junior missed his two races because of a concussion, Stewart was out after he struck and killed Kevin Ward at a dirt track, Busch was suspended by NASCAR and Larson missed a race after he fainted at an appearance.

Smith has one win — the 2011 Southern 500 — in 211 Cup Series starts. He’ll have to win either of the three stages in the 50-lap qualifying race to get the No. 43 into the All-Star Race later that evening.


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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!