In an interview not broadcast after the fall Kansas Xfinity race, Regan Smith confirmed he would not be returning to JR Motorsports for the 2016 season. He later confirmed that was the case on Twitter.
Smith is currently in a single year contract with JR Motorsports, where he’s been driving the No. 7 Chevrolet full-time since 2013.
This past January, I briefly talked to Smith at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Fan Appreciation Day and asked him if he was shooting for a Cup ride for the 2016 season.
He replied that that was the plan.
Sounds like tv didn't show my post race interview but to confirm, I will not be returning to the 7 car next season.
— Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) October 17, 2015
Smith was last a regular in the Sprint Cup series for Furniture Row Racing in 2010. Smith was replaced by Kurt Busch for the 2013 season. Smith actually finished the 2012 season as a two-race replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the Charlotte and Kansas Chase races after Earnhardt, Jr. was diagnosed with a concussion.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed Elliot Sadler is coming to JR Motorsports for the 2016 season along with the One Main Financial sponsorship Sadler’s had at both Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Fenway Racing the past two seasons. It now seems likely the No. 7 team, if not the No. 7 itself will be Sadler’s new team.
The question now is whether Smith has solidified plans for either the Sprint Cup Series or Xfinity Series for 2016. ClosetNASCARFan asked Smith on Twitter whether 2016 would see him back in the Sprint Cup Series, but as of the time of posting this article, Smith had not replied.