Short Track Result Top of Mind for Smith, Furniture Row Racing
August 24, 2011
While the numbers vividly show that Furniture Row Racing is enjoying its best season on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, there are still milestones to conquer according to team driver Regan Smith, including a top-10 or better result at a short track venue.
Smith and the Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team will once again get the opportunity to showcase their short track skills in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, the .533-mile, high-banked oval.
"We've had a couple of opportunities this year to have a solid finish on a short track -- a top-10 or better -- but something beyond our control seemed to happen late in the race," explained Smith. "It's like anything else, we need to forget about past occurrences and focus on the present which is Bristol this weekend. We've been able as a team to post some career firsts this year, and a first top-10 on a short track would be a nice addition to the 2011 resume."
Smith's best opportunity to claim a top-10 at a short track was back in April at the half-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, but a broken brake rotor late in the race dashed any hopes of a top-10 result.
"We were on the right pit cycle and had a top-10 in sight at Martinsville," noted Smith. "That race told us that we can be a good short track team."
Smith, who is coming off a 13th-place finish in Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway, has come on strong in 2011 with one win, two top-fives, four top-10s and the sixth-best qualifying average.
"We definitely have the goods and the personnel to be successful at Bristol," said Smith. "This is a race we all enjoy except when you get banged around and the hits start to have an effect on your car's performance. We're coming off a decent finish in Michigan (13th) and would like to keep the momentum going in our Furniture Row Chevrolet."
Smith's first career Sprint Cup start came at the Bristol bullring in April 2007. He started 12th and finished 25th. His best Bristol finish was at the August night race in 2008 when he posted a 14th-place result. In the first race of the current season at Bristol (March 20), he started third and finished 22.
Saturday night's 500-lap race will be televised on ABC, beginning with a 30-minute prerace show at 5 p.m. MT.