Brake Issue Stops Smith From Posting Strong Finish in Martinsville
April 3, 2011
It appeared that Regan Smith was heading to a top-10 or better finish with 35 laps remaining in Sunday's 500-lap Sprint Cup race at the historic Martinsville Speedway short track.
But the bad luck that has plagued Smith this season struck again when the right-front brake rotor broke on his No. 78 Chevrolet. The incident at the .526-mile oval sent Smith's Furniture Row Chevrolet into the Turn 2 concrete wall. Though the car suffered major damage, Smith was able to drive the injured Chevrolet to the finish with a frustrating 31st-place result.
At the time of the incident, Smith was running in 14th place and did not need to pit for the remainder of the race, which meant he would have jumped a number of spots in track position once cars ahead of him came down pit road for the final stop of the race.
"Unfortunately that scenario didn't play out for us," said Smith, who qualified 10th. "This one hurt, because we had a strong finish in sight. We've had more than our share of bad luck and we've only run six of 36 point races."
Smith continued, "Our Furniture Row Chevrolet was getting better as the race went on and it sure felt good. We deserve a good result, but can't seem to finish a race unscathed so far this season. All we can do is continue to be mentally tough and come back next week with an even better performance."
The Goody's Fast Relief 500 race winner was Kevin Harvick, his second straight win. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon.
The next Cup race is Saturday night (April 9) at Texas Motor Speedway.