Smith, Furniture Row Racing to Let it Ride in Vegas
February 24, 2010
DENVER, Colo. (Feb. 24, 2010) -- Experiencing unprecedented team potential at the first two races of the season, Regan Smith and Furniture Row Racing are primed for this weekend's Sprint Cup event -- the Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Smith, who was running in the top-10 late in Sunday's 500-mile event at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California, feels the Denver-based team is on the cusp of reaching a new level in NASCAR's elite division.
"We're on to something good, and we're going to continue to do what we've been doing," said Smith. "Performance wise, the past two weeks have been fun due to early indications of an improving Furniture Row team. We were fifth in the Daytona 500 qualifying race and ready for a strong showing in the 500. But being collected in an early accident spoiled that run. We had another strong performance last week in (Fontana) California. Running with the leaders in the late stages of the race was a huge confidence builder for the entire Furniture Row organization."
Following Sunday's race in California a candid Smith said the team's 19th-place result could have been better had it not been for his mistake during the last pit stop.
"The car slid through the pit box -- my fault 100 percent, end of story. We'll learn from the mistake, move on and get better as a team," added Smith.
The 26-year-old Smith is not only looking to improve on last week's 19th-place finish, but also last year's 19th-place result at Las Vegas in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.
"During our part-time season last year, we were really focused on collecting data for the 1.5 and two-mile tracks," noted Smith. "If you do well on these types of tracks, you're going to have a good season. A 19th-place finish is respectable, but we want better and won't be happy until we get there."
Smith is also pleased about how quickly the "New Look" Furniture Row team has jelled.
“We have a lot of new faces, and it appears the learning curve is going quicker than expected,” explained Smith. “I like the camaraderie with this team, it’s pretty special.”
The new faces in key positions with Furniture Row Racing are: Ryan Coniam (crew chief), Mark McArdle (managing director of competition), Pete Rondeau (car chief) and Cole Pearn and Josh Browne (team engineers).