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Darren Smith Sticks to Game Plan, Earns Best Super DIRTcar Series Finish at New Egypt

The Binghamton, NY driver led 40 laps before finishing second during the Power in the Pines
Darren Smith

For the second straight year, Darren Smith has opened the Super DIRTcar Series championship season with a milestone performance.

After earning his best Series finish at Bridgeport Motorsports Park to open the 2023 championship season, he did it again at New Egypt Speedway in 2024, finishing second.

Despite being passed by Anthony Perrego for the win with three laps to go in the 75-lap Feature, Smith said there was no disappointment from the weekend.

“I went back and watched the race recap, and I’m very happy with how we ran,” Smith said. “Scott (Jeffery, his crew chief) had her tuned in good. The boys did a good job working on it all winter. I’m not disappointed by any means. In the moment I was, because you want to win, but looking back on it, we had a great run. There ain’t nothing to be ashamed of.”

According to Smith, one factor in his runner-up finish was the game plan he took to New Egypt. However, that plan isn’t anything special. He’ll use it again when the Super DIRTcar Series stops at Can-Am Speedway for Thunder in the Thousand Islands on Saturday, April 13.

“It was just our normal package that we’ve ran since (Super) DIRT Week last year,” Smith said. “And it seems to work really good pretty much everywhere we’ve been. It worked good at Charlotte, All-Tech, and Volusia. The results didn’t show, but we had a decent DIRTcar Nationals.”

Part of that plan for his Jeremy Smith Racing #12 is to maximize the team’s strengths. That means Darren is taking a step back, allowing crew chief Scott Jeffery, who won three Series championships with Billy Decker, to use his knowledge to find the best setup for his Bicknell Chassis.

Darren Smith and Scott Jeffery
Darren Smith (Right), and Scott Jeffery (Left) wait in their trailer prior to racing at New Egypt/Tom Morris photo

The focus on his driving has already paid off, leading to his first Modified track championship at Thunder Mountain Speedway.

“It’s more just letting Scott do what he wants to do and what he’s going to,” Smith said. “When I start worrying about the car, adjustments, and all that. That seems to be when our finishes go down the toilet. When I just drive and tell Scott our feedback, and we talk about how it feels and how it looks rather than adjustments, it seems we get a lot better results. 

“I’m just going to focus on helping them where they need around the shop and not focus on adjustments as much.”

Smith’s focus in the shop and his abilities on the track have led to more cohesion in the Jeremy Smith Racing stable amongst he, his crew chief and Decker (who also drives for the team). Their dialogue has them on a path toward success. 

“[Scott’s] a Hall of Fame crew chief, what more can you ask for,” Smith said. “Between Scott and Billy, we all have a great relationship. That’s where our success is going to come from. There’s no pointing fingers. There’s no I did this, so I need to have that motor and that car. There’s none of that shit. 

“We all just work as a team. If Billy’s going racing, we go with him. If we go as a team, we go as a team. We’re all behind each other. It’s just a really good team atmosphere. And that’s something we’re really proud of.”

Smith will take that team atmosphere and game plan to Can-Am Speedway on Saturday, April 13, for Thunder in the Thousand Islands, where he aims for another milestone finish— his first Super DIRTcar Series win.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision, either online or with the DIRTVision app.