Solid Effort for Smith, Furniture Row Racing in Season Finale
November 20, 2011
In a season that brought many highlights and firsts for Regan Smith, the Furniture Row Racing driver brought home a solid 13th-place finish in Sunday's Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Battling the elements and an early pit-road miscue, Smith stayed patient throughout the 267-lap, 400-mile race, which was red-flagged twice for rain.
"It could have been better, but it was a strong effort and a good way to cap off the season," said Smith. "We had some issues in recent races, but today we made it click when we had to in our No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet. We got behind early, but managed to battle through the field."
When the first yellow flag flew for rain on Lap 12, Smith came down pit road in 12th place. But a pit stop problem sent Smith all the way back to 35th place on the 1.5-mile oval.
"The pit road deal was early in the race, we came back and that's what counts," stated Smith about the first pit stop. "Our performance was a solid team effort, led by our crew chief Pete Rondeau. This is the way we're capable of racing week in and week out."
The 2011 season saw Smith and Furniture Row Racing score a win, two top-fives and five top 10s - a marked improvement since both Smith and Furniture Row did not have a top-10 finish prior to the 2011 season.
"We made so much progress this season and feel that we're on the edge of hitting a new level of competition," said an upbeat Smith.
The race winner was Tony Stewart, who also captured the Sprint Cup season championship. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon.
After a three-month offseason, the 2012 season opens with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.