Smith Finishes 17th in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2011) — Regan Smith drove a steady race as he posted a 17th-place result in Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. It was Smith’s best finish in six career starts at the .75-mile short track.
Smith, who started on the outside pole, ran solidly in the top 10 for the first 80 laps of the race. But as the race wore on he experienced some issues with his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.
However, in the closing stages of the race, it appeared that Smith was back in contention for a top-10 finish, but untimely cautions threw a curve into the team’s pit-stop strategy.
“We’re avoiding trouble and making headway and those are important positives after the bad luck we experienced in the early races of the season.” said Smith, who continues to lead the Cup series in qualifying with a 7.1 average after nine races. “We were looking for a better result tonight, but we didn’t get the breaks with the cautions late in the race. The key is that we stayed patient and finished the race without a major incident. I feel good about where we are at and look forward to the upcoming races.”
Smith added, “Pete (Rondeau, crew chief) and all the guys on the road crew and at the shop are really dedicated to seeing this team reach new levels. There’s still plenty of unleashed talent with this Furniture Row team.”
The winner of the race was Kyle Busch. Rounding out the top-five in order were Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, David Ragan and Carl Edwards.
The next Sprint Cup race is Saturday night (May 7) at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.