LAS VEGAS (March 6, 2011) — For the second week in a row Regan Smith experienced the ugly side of auto racing.
Last week in Phoenix Smith got collected in an early multicar accident. And in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway it only got worse for the Furniture Row Racing driver, who was forced to retire from the Kobalt Tools 400 due to an engine issue in his No. 78 Chevrolet. He was credited with a 39th-place finish.
“No doubt it’s been a disappointing two weeks after a great start in the Daytona 500,” said Smith. “We’re taking some licks right now, but this team knows that we’re not having a performance problem. As we did in Phoenix last week we were once again strong in our practices and in our qualifying effort. But as was the case in Phoenix, we were not able to show what we had in the race due to issues out of our control.”
Smith, who qualified 12th, reported that his car was losing power on Lap 71 of 267. He was instructed to bring the car to the garage where it was determined that whatever malfunctioned in the engine could not be immediately fixed.
“This is the part of racing we all hate,” stated Smith. “Our guys on the road and at our Denver shop have worked so hard to get us to a new level of competition and I feel awful that we haven’t had the opportunity to capitalize on our potential. Our luck cycle will change and when it does, it’s going to be good. We’ll keep our heads up and bounce back.”
The Las Vegas race winner was Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose and Ryan Newman.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has the coming weekend off and will resume competition March 18-20 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.