DENVER, Colo. (Nov. 10, 2010) — As the 2010 Sprint Cup season is winding
down with the penultimate race scheduled for Sunday (Nov. 14) at Phoenix
International Raceway, Regan Smith is looking at the final two events as an
extension to the 2011 season.
“If you have a bad race during the season you only have to wait four or five
days before you get back into the car,” said Smith. “That’s not much time
for reflecting and feeling down. But it becomes a different scenario at this
time of the year, you want to end the season knowing that you’re gaining and
picking up speed. If you’re on the other end of the performance spectrum you
have nearly three long months to think about it. Ouch!”
The good news for Smith and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team is that
they’ve been closing out the year with their best racing of the season But
with two races remaining, Smith wants to make sure the recent performance
level continues and there’s not a detour.
“We’re so excited about the future of Furniture Row Racing that sometimes we
lose a little patience,” explained Smith. “We want the baby steps to become
giant steps, but we know better that this is not the way the improvement
If you take away the Martinsville race (Oct. 24) where Smith got hit and
shoved into the wall, the team’s performance in the last 10 races is a vivid
sign of improvement. In nine of the last 10 races, Smith has posted three
top 13s and five top 20s, including two 12th-place finishes. Smith’s average
finish during this period is 19.11 compared to an average finish of 26.66
for the first 24 races of the season.
“That’s an increase of seven positions — a nice jump,” said Smith. “Now if
we can improve another seven positions we’ll be looking at Chase material.
But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we have a long way to go, but
we’re on the right track with our Furniture Row Chevrolet.”
Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 will be Smith’s fifth start at the one-mile
Phoenix oval. At the Phoenix spring race, he finished 26th.