Within one week, Regan Smith went from driving the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway to the high ski slopes in Telluride, Colo.
And that begs the question: Why was the 28-year-old Smith, dressed in his Furniture Row firesuit, driving the race car at 9,000 feet above sea level on icy and snow-packed roads where tandem drafting would never work no matter how many rule packages were introduced?
While last week’s Daytona test session was all about preparation for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, Telluride was all about shooting scenes earlier in the week (Monday and Tuesday) for the annual Warren Miller Entertainment ski movie.
For more than 60 years Warren Miller Entertainment has been the gold standard for the production of ski movies. The Telluride shoot was one of multiple worldwide locations that will be utilized for the 2012 ski classic, which is scheduled for an October premiere.
Riding along with Smith in the race car, which was equipped with a ski rack and studded snow tires for the road less traveled, was national and world tour freeskiing champion Jess McMillan.
“It’s an interesting storyline why I was driving Jess McMillan up the mountain,” said Smith. “I can’t say more about it until the movie is released. The conditions were tricky and the car was a handful to drive at times, but it was a blast. However, I did have my moments and let’s just say that the car didn’t leave Telluride dent free.
“Due to the popularity of the ski movie, I feel this was a win, win experiences for Furniture Row Racing, NASCAR, Warren Miller Entertainment, Spyder and Regan Smith. The perks keep on coming as a result of having Furniture Row Racing based in Denver.”
McMillan, who has had her share of excitement during her freeskiing career, experienced a new thrill as a passenger in the Furniture Row Chevrolet.
“There is nothing like riding in a race car,” stated McMillan. “When Regan started his engine, my heart rate skyrocketed. I had a blast working with Regan and the Furniture Row team. It was an experience I will never forget. Car 78 looked so cool with a ski rack on its roof driving through snow-covered mountain passes. I can’t wait to go to my first race.”