2nd Half Woes Drop Smith to 18th-Place Finish in Bristol
August 27, 2011
The performance was better than the result for Regan Smith, who finished 18th in Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Smith, who ran solidly in the top-10 for the majority of the first half of the race, got trapped in the middle of pack during the second half of the 500-lap event, making it difficult to drive away from the congestion at the high-banked, half-mile oval.
Smith lost his hold in the top-10 during a green-flag pit stop on Lap 243 when he came down pit road in 10th place and went out 15th.
"There were a combination of issues during that stop and it definitely bit us because we weren't able to get back up front," explained Smith, who ran as high as fifth. "We were strong the first half of the race and felt we could get back up there. But it seemed like our Furniture Row Chevrolet was in a traffic jam for the entire second half of the race."
Smith added, "We were much better than our finish and that makes it frustrating. We qualified 12th and ran with the lead guys for a long time. We were a top-10 car and that's where we should have finished."
If there were a consolation for the Furniture Row Racing team, Smith finished on the lead lap and posted his 11th top-20 result of the season.
"I guess when I take a few deep breaths and let time heal some of the wounds tonight, I will probably say that we had a decent night of racing at a difficult venue," said Smith. "But right now I don't feel that way."
The race winner was Brad Keselowski. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray.
The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday night (Sept. 4) at Atlanta Motor Speedway.