Smith's Starting Position Set for Daytona 500 Qualifying Race
February 6, 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2010) -- Regan Smith, who is automatically qualified for next Sunday's (Feb. 14) Daytona 500, posted the 34th fastest speed in Saturday's Pole Day qualifying at Daytona International Speedway.
Under NASCAR's qualifying format for the opener, Pole Day locks in the front row for the 500 and establishes the starting positions for Thursday's 150-mile qualifying races. The results from the two 150 milers will determine the starting field (positions 3-43) for the Daytona 500.
Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, is slated to participate in the first Gatorade 150-mile race and will start 17th.
"We know we have a better car than 34th fastest," said Smith. "We just needed a little more practice time yesterday. But when the rains came and canceled the practice session, we weren't quite ready with a setup. But it's all okay. We're in the Daytona 500 and can work on the race setup next week."
Smith's qualifying time/speed at the 2.5-mile oval was 47.695 seconds at 188.699 miles per hour.
The pole winner was Mark Martin (191.188 mph). Rounding out the top five in order were: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Bill Elliott and Juan Pablo Montoya.
The Sprint Cup Series will resume practice on Wednesday. The 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday will be televised on SPEED, beginning at 2 p.m. ET.