Despite Superspeedway Misfortunes, Smith Likes His Chances at Talladega
October 27, 2010
DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 27, 2010) -- "If we can finish the Talladega race unscathed then in all likelihood we should come away with a pretty good finish in Sunday's Sprint Cup event," said Regan Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet. "We truly feel our superspeedway program can compete with anyone out there. We just haven't had a chance recently to show our strength at the big tracks."
When Smith says that the surging Furniture Row team hasn't had a chance to show its mettle on the superspeedways, he is referring to his DNFs (did not finish) in the three superspeedway races this season.
He was collected in a Lap 8 accident in the Daytona 500, blew an engine while running up front at the April race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and got collected again in a multicar wreck during the July Daytona event.
"That's three-for-three of not finishing a restrictor-plate race this season," stated the 27-year-old Smith. "The only restrictor-plate race we did finish this year was the Gatorade qualifying race for the Daytona 500. We did fairly well in that race by finishing fifth. We truly feel we have the potential to do very well this weekend."
Last year while driving a limited schedule for Furniture Row Racing, Smith finished 15th in the spring Talladega race and 12th in the summer Daytona race.
"We do know how to get it done on the superspeedways, but just haven't had the right kind of luck lately," added Smith, who has recently come on strong in the homestretch races.
Knowing how to get it done on the superspeedways, especially at Talladega, is an understatement for Smith. In his mind he won the 2008 Talladega fall race. He passed Tony Stewart on the final lap, but after crossing the finish line with the apparent victory, NASCAR informed Smith that he was being penalized for passing Stewart under the out-of-bounds yellow line. The victory went to Stewart while Smith was sent all the way back to 18th place.
"I haven't forgotten about that race -- it still lingers," said Smith. "I've replayed that last lap in my mind many times over the past two years and each time I felt like I won the race. But the reality is Stewart has the trophy and I'm still hoping to get another crack at a victory."