Smith's Phoenix Finish Doesn't Reflect Strong Performance
April 19, 2009
PHOENIX (April 18, 2009) -- Pit road miscues in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race were costly for Regan Smith, who saw a strong performance fade to a 28th-place result at Phoenix International Raceway.
"It's very disappointing because the Furniture Row Chevy was so much better than our finishing position," said a dejected Smith. "We had an easy top-15 car and possibly a top 10. Though we didn't capitalize on our performance, we know that we can be a competitive team."
Smith, who qualified ninth, got off to a strong start -- running in the top 10 until the first pit stop following a caution on Lap 55 of 312. Unfortunately for the Furniture Row Racing team the stop didn't go as planned as Smith lost eight spots in track position.
Smith did battle back as he picked off positions on the one-mile oval and appeared to be heading to a top-15 or better finish. While running in 19th place when the final caution flew on Lap 302, Smith came down pit road to take four new tires. But once again a pit stop problem was costly as Smith lost valuable track position with a few laps remaining.
"Regan was knocking off some excellent lap times and we were in position to make a move," said crew chief Jay Guy. "But we didn't get the job done and that is very disappointing. But we'll learn from our mistakes and become a better team."
The Furniture Row Racing team, which is running a limited schedule in 2009, has qualified in each of the four Cup races it has entered. The team will be back in action next week (April 26) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Mark Martin was the Phoenix race winner. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.