Even-Keel Smith Says it's Time to Pick Up Short Track Performance
October 20, 2010
DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 20, 2010) -- The past two Sprint Cup races have instilled an added boost of confidence and gratification to the Furniture Row Racing team.
With finishes of 12th and 13th in Fontana, Calif. and Charlotte, N.C. respectively, it marked the first time that driver Regan Smith and the Colorado-based team achieved back-to-back top-15 results. They were also the team's two best finishes of the 2010 season.
"I really don't like to make too much about the past two weeks because we need to have these top-15 finishes come with more regularity in our No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet," said Smith. "Sure it feels good to walk away from the track with a sense of accomplishment, but we have goals where we want to be and we're not there yet. The good news is that we are heading in the right direction."
Smith would feel a whole lot better if he can pull off a 12th or 13th-place finish in Sunday's TUMS Fast Relief 500 at the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway .
"The intermediate tracks have been our strong suit -- it's the short tracks that we are looking to step up the pace," stated Smith. "We had a good test session at the Milwaukee Mile in late August, and that made a difference for how we recently performed at Richmond and New Hampshire. That's why I am feeling more confident about this weekend."
Smith's best finish in four career Cup starts at Martinsville Speedway was 14th, which came during his 2008 rookie-of-the-year season. At this year's spring race in Martinsville Smith finished 32nd.
"We know what needs to get done," added Smith. "And we also understand that in order to be a competitive team you need to run well at all types of tracks. So, a good result this weekend at the half-mile Martinsville track will go a long way in giving our confidence level another boost. It feels good knowing that our hard work this year is paying off with better performances."
Smith's crew chief Pete Rondeau feels the No. 78 team has been jelling in all the key areas that is necessary to achieve success.
"Regan has done a good job driving the car, the crew has been equally as good in preparing the car, we've had good pit strategy and our pit stops have been good," explained Rondeau. "When those four ingredients are clicking at the same time, you usually get some pretty good results. It's been fun and we want to keep it that way."