Jonathan Smith is living his dream.
“Racing is in the blood, and I have it. I always knew after watching NASCAR on Sundays that this was what I wanted to do,” said Smith, a Beacon Falls native.
Smith, 22, drives for Fadden Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Series-East, his third year in the East series and his first with Fadden Racing. The NASCAR Camping World is made up of two regional tours, with races on the East and West coasts. Both run at a tough combination of short tracks, intermediates, road courses, and speedways. Due to the poor economy only 11 races were scheduled this season. The final race was Sept. 25 in Dover, Del.
“I wish I had more races to run,” said Smith, who was disappointed with so few races.
Smith also has had to deal with a new team and the challenges that come up with change.
“We started off rocky, because I was on a new team, but we’ve come a long way,” Smith said about the season. His best race was a ninth-place finish at Thompson International Speedway on July 11th.
Starting Friday, Smith will be a part of the Drive for Diversity Combine at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
“It’s like the football combine,” Smith said. “It’s a five-day combine where we get evaluated on track performance, and we get media training.”
This is the third straight year that he has been picked to be a part of the combine. This year the combine will be featured in the upcoming television show “Changing Lanes” which will be airing on the BET network, early next year. The 10-part series will showcase young drivers who are trying to make it in the big-time world of NASCAR.
“It’s like a reality/documentary television show,” Smith said. “It will be interesting to have cameras following us around.”
Racing is a yearlong job, and Smith will be going around to all the different tracks in the region to practice.
“I don’t really have an offseason, maybe two weeks off,” Smith said about his offseason plans.
On his goals for next season, Smith said, “I would like to be racing in the Nationwide series. We are just waiting for sponsorship. If not, then I’ll be back and try to win a championship.”