Smith Qualifies 5th in Pocono
June 11, 2011
Regan Smith came roaring back on Saturday as the Furniture Row Racing driver qualified fifth for Sunday's 5-Hour Energy Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
The result was Smith's seventh top-five qualifying effort in the first 14 Cup races of 2011.
Smith's No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet covered the 2.5-mile three-turn, tricky triangle in 52.581 seconds at 171.164 miles per hour. He made the biggest gain of more than two seconds from Saturday's first practice session when he was ranked 28th with a time of 54.774.
"It was a strong lap, and it even feels better when you make a huge improvement from practice to qualifying," said Smith. "A real credit to Pete (Rondeau, crew chief) and the crew for making the right adjustments. We needed just a hair more to get that pole, but we'll take a top-five. While our qualifying trim was not up to par in practice yesterday, our race trim setup was real good, which is a good sign for tomorrow's race."
The pole winner was Kurt Busch (52.454/171.579). Rounding out the top-five in order were: Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Smith.
Sunday's race will be televised on TNT, beginning with a 60-minute prerace show at 10 a.m. MT.