Regan Smith will return to Riverside International Speedway to drive the Cat Car for Kids in the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis on July 20. He is the 2008 IWK 250 champion – one of only two NASCAR celebrity drivers to have won the iconic race, a NASCAR driver with 296 starts in the top three divisions including seven wins, and a NASCAR FOX broadcast personality – and he’s eager to get back to Riverside and the IWK 250.

“The IWK 250 is one of my favorite races to be a competitor in,” said Smith. “The atmosphere, crowd, track, and most importantly the kids make it a special event. When Donald Chisholm and I first discussed the potential to come back and be a part of it, I was immediately excited and hopeful the schedules would work out. Although it has been 15 years since the last time I ran it, I remember how challenging of an event it is – the competition is fierce and adds to how special the whole weekend is.”

Management for Riverside is also excited to announce a new multi-year agreement with Toromont Cat as the continued sponsor of the Cat Car for Kids which made its debut in 2009. Since then, the car has been driven by NASCAR stars and adorned with signatures of patients and their families at the IWK Health Centre, the region’s largest children’s hospital. The Cat Car for Kids is an integral part of the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis which has helped raise awareness and over $600,000 for the IWK Foundation in support of the IWK Health Care Centre.

“The Toromont Cat family is excited to partner with Riverside International Speedway to bring the Cat Car for Kids back for its 17th entry in the IWK 250,“ said Atlantic Region Vice President for Toromont Cat, Matt Ferguson. “This fun and unique racing event is a highlight for us each summer and helps to support the IWK which is such a meaningful and important facility in our region. We’re looking forward to welcoming back Regan Smith and bringing the Cat Car for Kids to the race track.”

“Toromont Cat has been a fantastic partner with Riverside and the Cat Car for Kids in the IWK 250 for many years,” said Joan Roué, track manager. “They have enthusiastically participated in the event and in numerous visits to the IWK Health Centre with the car and its celebrity driver, spreading cheer when the children and their families need it the most.”

“Having Regan with us this year will be terrific,” continued Roué. “In his previous visits, he was amazing with our fans and absolutely focused on winning the race. We are most appreciative of his time and his interest in the IWK 250. It’ll be fun to see him on the high banks again.”

Smith started his racing career at the age of four in quarter-midgets where he won multiple races and championships. He moved to the USAR Pro Cup Series before a 2002 debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He moved to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2003 and to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2008 – winning Rookie of the Year. He has 224 Cup Series starts with a win in the prestigious Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He has 36 starts in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with six wins in the Xfinity Series. In 2013 he won the Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver Award. Since 2018, Smith has been part of the FOX NASCAR broadcast team as pit reporter for the Cup Series and Xfinity Series, as well as an analyst on NASCAR Race Hub and NASCAR Raceday.

The #24 Cat Car for Kids will fielded by Antigonish’s Nova Racing. Smith, a native of Cato, NY who now resides in Troutman, NC, will be a teammate to 2016 IWK 250 champion Donald Chisholm and Russell Smith, Jr. NASCAR celebrity drivers of the Cat Car for Kids have included Smith, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Matt Crafton, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, David Reutimann, Kenny Wallace and Mike Skinner. Besides Smith, Kenny Wallace is the only other NASCAR celebrity driver to win the IWK 250.

Tickets for the IWK 250 Super Weekend will be available starting at Noon on Thursday (May 9). Campsite reservations are open with a limited number remaining. Both are available online at or in person at Riverside’s office in the Post Road Plaza in Antigonish (M-F/8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

Riverside’s lure has long attracted top drivers from throughout North America. It is a scale rendition of the original Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Riverside founder, the late John “Nova” Chisholm, visited with NASCAR founder Bill France in the 60s seeking advice about building a track in Maritime Canada. France recommended a smaller Bristol and emphasized that it should be accessible near a highway interchange. With France’s blessing, Chisholm had Bristol measured by an engineer then returned to Nova Scotia and built Riverside. It is a 1/3-mile asphalt oval (vs 1/2-mile at Bristol), it has the highest banks of any track in Canada and is located at an interchange for the Trans Canada Highway. It opened on May 18, 1969, as a top Canadian track and retains that designation today.

The first ‘250’ at Riverside was held in 1977 – at the time it was the longest stock car race ever in the Maritimes. In 2007, it was rebranded the IWK 250 as a way for co-founders John Chisholm and Steve Lewis to give back after  IWK Health Centre care was necessary for a shared family member. The list of IWK 250 champions is a who’s who of Canadian short track racers, including several Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees… Jr. Hanley, Don Biederman, Rollie MacDonald, Scott Fraser, and Greg Sewart.

The IWK 250 purse is over $100,000 with a whopping $20,000 guaranteed for the winner. The champion’s name is etched for eternity on the John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup which has become one of the most coveted awards in Canadian motorsports. IWK 250 Hot Laps will set the stage for heat races to determine the starting lineup for the IWK 250. The Hanley Cup, named for North American short track legend Jr. Hanley, will debut this year as the perpetual award for the Hot Laps winner adding even more prestige to the event. Hanley, a native of Nova Scotia, considers Riverside his home track. The IWK 250 is sanctioned by the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour and is round six of 10 en route to the 2024 championship title.

The IWK 250 Super Weekend kicks off Wednesday, July 17 when camping for over 800 RVs opens along with an evening practice session for sportsman and legends. On Thursday, it’s the IWK 250 Test’N’Tune and the IWK 250 Tailgate Party. Friday features the MASS Auto World Sportsman Series and Cross Roads League of Legends. Saturday will see a full day of super late model/pro stock racers with the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis.

About Riverside International Speedway

In 2024 Riverside International Speedway is celebrating 55 years as a premiere stock racing facility in Canada. The 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval roars to action several times a year for special events. It is the largest outdoor entertainment venue in eastern Canada and the home of the IWK 250 – widely known throughout North America as a “bucket list” event for racers and fans alike. Located in James River, between New Glasgow and Antigonish, the facility is easily accessible at exit 30 on Trans-Canada Highway 104. For more information, please visit or call 902-863-2410.