Support From Farmers and Ranchers, Smith Ready for Michigan Race
August 17, 2011
When it comes to promoting a sponsor or a cause, NASCAR Sprint Cup winner Regan Smith has the special knack to articulate a message without sounding scripted.
The 27-year-old Smith will be wearing two hats this weekend at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), promoting the Furniture Row Racing team as well as the Farm American program, which will be showcased on his No. 78 Chevrolet.
The Farm American initiative that Smith and the Furniture Row Companies have been backing for more than a year has attained plenty of interest in the agriculture community, including a financial partner in Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers based in St. Johns, Mich.
Furniture Row and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers are teaming to promote the importance of having a stable and robust agriculture industry along with bridging the awareness gap between urban and rural America.
"I grew up in an agriculture area in Cato, N.Y. (near Syracuse) and my parents were both raised on a farm," said Smith. "So for me to have the opportunity to be a voice for the American farmer and rancher is truly an honor. Furniture Row cares deeply about the agriculture industry and I am proud to wear the Farm American colors this weekend in Michigan."
Smith's car will also carry the Farm American paint scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 4) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 9).
Smith, who is one of the five first-time winners this season, feels that his No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet has the power to do something special in Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race at the two-mile oval.
"Michigan should be a good race for our Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet," stated Smith. "We qualified fifth in the MIS June race and were running in the top 12 near the end. But on the last lap we got clipped, resulting in a very, very disappointing finish (33rd). MIS is the kind of track that we should be good at -- it's a matter of having a clean race."
Smith has five career starts at MIS -- his best finish was 21st at last year's August race.
After 22 Sprint Cup races this season, it's apparent that Smith is having a break-through year on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. He has one victory, two top-fives and four top-10s. His four top-10s came at NASCAR's four majors -- Daytona 500 (7th), Southern 500 (1st in Darlington, S.C.), Coca-Cola 600 (8th in Charlotte) and the Brickyard 400 (3rd in Indianapolis).
"We want to add to those statistics as we are already planning and preparing for the 2012 season," explained Smith. "We're happy about how we've improved this year, but we also know that we have to get to another level of competition. We're working hard to get there."