Smith Posts 12th Place Finish in All Star Race
May 20, 2012
Regan Smith finished 12th in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Competing in his second career All-Star event, Smith was steady with improvement throughout the 90-lap race, which consisted of four 20-lap segments and a closing 10-lap shootout. The non-points race showcased 23 drivers, who qualified for the annual classic at the 1.5-mile oval. Smith earned his berth as a result of winning the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
Though he qualified 10th in Friday evening's time trials, Smith started the race from the rear of the field due to making an engine change. The reason for the engine swap was that Smith's No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet suffered a motor malfunction in Friday's pre-qualifying practice.
"Considering all that transpired in the past two days, I thought we came away from the All-Star Race with respectability," said Smith, who finished 20th in his first All-Star Race last year. "It's a great event and thanks to the folks at Sprint, NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway for giving us this national stage to race on. I had a blast tonight and it was a nice break from racing for points."
Smith's finishes after each of the first four segments were: 21st (first), 17th (second), 19th (third) and 14th (fourth).
"We hung in there and improved throughout the race, which is always a good sign," noted Smith. "We're feeling much better right now about where our Furniture Row Racing program is heading. We'll regroup on Monday and go over the data we collected from the All-Star weekend and analyze what we need to do for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While I would have liked to finish better in the All-Star Race I feel we put ourselves in good position to get prepared for the 600."
The Sprint All-Star Race winner was Jimmie Johnson. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Marcos Ambrose, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman.
Smith, along with all of the other Sprint Cup teams, will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday for Coca-Cola 600 practice and a night qualifying session. The traditional Memorial Day weekend 400-lap, 600-mile race will be contested on Sunday (May 27), starting at 6 p.m. ET (4 p.m. MT).