Ryan Coniam, son of Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductee Warren Coniam, has signed on as crew chief for driver Regan Smith with the Furniture Row Racing team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
The 30-year-old Coniam, originally from Burlington, is a former New York state modified racer who went on to win rookie-of-the-year in the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series. After running with the World of Outlaws for a season, Coniam turned his attention to NASCAR where – in the beginning – he joined Bill Davis Racing to be Jacques Villeneuve’s race engineer. When Villeneuve’s Sprint Cup career turned sour, Coniam took his talents to Michael Waltrip’s organization.
During his stint with Waltrip, Coniam – who graduated in 2000 with a mechanical engineering degree from Barrie’s Georgian College – was the race engineer for Michael McDowell’s entry in 2008 and this past year he was race engineer for driver Max Papis.
Ryan Coniam and Regan Smith share a geographic link. Warren Coniam was a champion supermodified racer at Oswego Speedway in northern New York and Ryan literally spent his summers there before starting his racing career at Oswego in a limited supermodified. Smith is from Cato, N.Y., which is a village not far from Oswego, and also attended races at the speedway.
“I am both excited and humbled to have been offered a position that I have dreamed about,” said Ryan Coniam, in a release.
The 2010 Sprint Cup season kicks off Feb. 14 with the running of the Daytona 500.