Smith, Furniture Row Racing Eyeing Martinsville for Breakthrough Race
March 28, 2012
Regan Smith and his Furniture Row Racing team are looking for a breakthrough performance as the young season approaches the sixth Sprint Cup race of 2012 -- the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Entering Sunday's event at the half-mile flat track, Smith finds himself in 19th place in the driver point standings, his highest-ever position at this time of the season. His results in the first five races include three top-20 performances along with two finishes of 24th. He is coming off a 20th-place result at Sunday's race in Fontana, Calif.
Smith feels the difficult Martinsville short track is a venue that can produce a finish the single-car team out of Denver has been looking for since the beginning of the season.
"Based on last year's performances at Martinsville I feel we have a pretty good handle on the half-mile track," said Smith. "The finishes of 31st and 13th might not support that, but had we not had a brake issue late in the spring race we were in position for a top-10. And finishing 13th in the fall was my best result at Martinsville. Right now I feel that our Furniture Row/CSX Play if Safe Chevrolet has the potential of doing something special this weekend."
Smith added, "We've haven't had any really bad days this season, but we also haven't had any really good days. We need a jump start and Martinsville could be the race that we've been waiting for."
Smith went on to say the historic Martinsville track has a tendency to produce all kinds of excitement.
"Though Martinsville is a purist racetrack, it can create havoc and bring out the best of tempers," noted Smith. "I love going to Martinsville -- most of us drivers grew up on short tracks."
Each season when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville the talk is mainly about the importance of brakes for the .526-mile oval. While Smith will be doing the customary heavy braking on Martinsville's four corners, he will also be promoting a different type of braking as part of Furniture Racing's partnership with CSX Transportation.
The back of Smith's uniform and the rear bumper of his No. 78 car will carry a message -- "I Brake for Trains." The message is part of CSX's Play it Safe campaign to urge pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution around railroad crossings.
"On the race track we want as less braking as possible, but in our street cars we all need to take extra caution at railroad crossings," stated Smith. "There are way too many avoidable accidents at railroad crossings, and I hope through our messaging with CSX, it will help reduce these unnecessary incidents."