2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year award winner.
Hometown - Syracuse (Cato), New York
Resides: Denver, CO
Birthday - September 23, 1983
Children: Rhett Lee Smith (2015) and Eliza Grace Smith (2016)
Hobbies: Snowboarding, video games, watching hockey games
Noteworthy – Married Megan Mayhew on November 26, 2011 in Palm Coast, Fla…Welcomed son Rhett Lee Smith on February 25, 2015. Son of Ron and Lee Smith, former NASCAR Busch Series owners…Began racing quarter midget type cars at the age of 4…Joined the World Karting (WKA) Association at the age of 12…Won the WKA Grand National championship in 1996 and the WKA Manufacturer’s Cup in 1997…Captured the Canadian Grand National Karting championship in 1998…Won 1999 Allison Legacy Series championship as well as Rookie of the Year…Competed in USAR ProCup Series during the 2000-2001 seasons….Earned four Sunoco Pole Awards during the 2001 USAR ProCup Series, including three in a row, a USAR record…His mother, Lee, served as an animal rescue volunteer on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also did animal rescue volunteer work after the devasting 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
2011 – Completed third season with Furniture Row Racing in the Sprint Cup Series…Breakthrough year – captured first career win in prestigious Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Ended season with one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes (before 2011 season did not have any top-five or top-10 finishes)…Scored top-10 finishes in NASCAR’s four biggest races – Daytona 500 (7th), Southern 500 (1st), Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (8th) and Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis (3rd)…Darlington victory was voted by media as fifth-best moment of 2011…Claimed career high of 11 top-10 starting positions, including all-time best of second at April race in Richmond…Average start: 14.75, average finish: 21.47…Finished 26th in driver points…Married Megan Mayhew, Nov. 26 in Palm Coast, Fla.
2010 – Qualified in all 36 Sprint Cup races for Furniture Row Racing, a first for the Denver, Colo.-based team…Came on strong during second half of season, scoring a number of top-20 finishes, including three top 13s in final seven races…Best finishes were 12th in the fall races in Fontana, Calif. and Talladega, Ala…Also picked up qualifying pace late in season with three top-10 starting efforts in final three races – eighth at Texas and Phoenix and 10th at Homestead Miami.
2009 – Joined Furniture Row Racing following the 2008 season…Entered 20 races and qualified in 18…Had two top-15 finishes – both at Superspeedway events – 15th in the April Talladega race and 12th in the July Daytona race…Best qualifying efforts were sixth in Talladega (April) and ninth in Phoenix (April)….Accident at September Richmond race halted streak of 53 consecutive races of running at the finish.
2008 – First full season in NASCAR’s premier series – drove in 34 of 36 Cup races for Dale Earnhardt Inc….Won Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honors. Became first rookie in Cup history to finish every race started…Finished 34th in points, despite not entering two road course races…Appeared to have won the October Cup race at Talladega after passing Tony Stewart on the final lap. But shortly after leading the field to the checkered flag, NASCAR assessed a controversial penalty on Smith for passing Stewart below the yellow line. The win was awarded to Stewart while Smith was relegated to an 18th-place finish.
2007 – Made Cup debut in the Bristol spring race (March 25th). Started 12th and finished 25th…Ran a combination of NASCAR races – seven in Cup, 17 in Busch and 10 in Truck...For the first half of the season co-drove with veteran Mark Martin in the No. 01 Chevrolet for Ginn Racing…Joined Dale Earnhardt Inc. after DEI merged with Ginn Racing in mid season…Captured Busch pole at Kentucky.
2006 -- Ran full schedule for first time in the Busch Series…Finished 20th in driver championship points while driving for Team Rensi Motorsports…Average start was 22.2 and average finish was 24.5…Best start of third came at fall race in Dover, Del. and best finish of 10th came at the May race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte.
2005 -- Competed in 21 Busch races…Recorded a career-best qualifying position of third at Kansas, Memphis and Phoenix...Tied his career-best finish of 15th at Nashville, New Hampshire and Gateway...Competed in nine NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events. Qualified eighth at the season opener in Daytona where he led four laps, a first for him in the series…Posted his best truck finish of 20th at Milwaukee.
2004 -- Competed in 10 Busch events for John McNelly, Michael Holigan and James Finch…Posted season-best starting position of 19th and once again tied his top finish of 15th at Pikes Peak.... Competed in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway -- recorded first top-10 finish of his career by finishing ninth.
2003 -- Competed in 18 Busch races for three different owners – 16 for Danny Bost and one each for McNelly and George deBidart. … Best starting position of 14th came at Nazareth…Set his career-best Busch finish of 15th at Texas. 2002 -- Made NASCAR Busch Series debut on Oct. 20 at Memphis for owner Ed Whitaker. Qualified 16th and finished 39th…Made NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at South Boston Speedway -- qualified 18th and finished 29th…Competed in one other NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Phoenix where he finished 30th.
|Rhett Lee Smith (2015)
||Eliza Grace Smith (2016)