Smith Carrying Patriotic & Racing Focus Into Memorial Day Weekend Classic
May 24, 2012
Regan Smith has a message for race fans about the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
"Though it’s a huge motorsports weekend, it’s not all about racing," stated Smith. "Whether you’re traveling to Charlotte for the NASCAR races or to Indianapolis for the 500 or even to Monaco for the F1 event, please take time to remember our nation’s fallen war heroes, who paid the ultimate price so we can enjoy our freedom."
Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet, said that he is looking forward to seeing military members gather at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's longest race of the season.
"The soldiers are cheering for us and we're cheering for them -- the military and NASCAR have enjoyed a great relationship over the years," said Smith.
Along with having a patriotic focus this weekend, Smith will also be focused on Sunday's 400-lap, 600-mile Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile oval.
"We have a spanking-new Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet for the 600," noted Smith. "I am confident that we're coming out of our slump based on our performances at Darlington two weeks ago and in last week's Sprint All-Star Race. We hit a brick wall and there's never a quick fix to curing a problem, but we're getting closer."
Smith finished 14th at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and 12th in Saturday night's all-star event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He also posted top-10 qualifying efforts in both races.
"I feel much better than I did before Darlington," said Smith. "We found some things that have given us more speed and that's what we're going to need in the 600."
Smith is looking to continue his improvement at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he finished eighth in last year's Coca-Cola 600. In his other two Coke 600 races -- 2008 and 2010 -- he posted 19th-place finishes for a three-event average finish of 15.333.
"For people who know me it's no secret that Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been one of my favorite places to race at," said Smith. "The race is another crown jewel for NASCAR, and it's an exciting week with all the hoopla that surrounds the Coca-Cola 600."
The Coca-Cola 600 will also mark the two-year anniversary race for Furniture Row crew chief Pete Rondeau, who took over the position in May 2010. Smith and Rondeau have teamed for some special moments, including the 2011 Southern 500 victory at Darlington.
"I feel we've come a long way, but still have a ways to go," said Rondeau. "You never stand pat in this business or accept satisfaction. It's alway about getting to that next level."