Smith Finishes 17th in Sprint Cup Finale

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2010) — Regan Smith and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team had another strong performance, finishing 17th in Sunday’s NASCAR season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

It was the fourth top-20 result in the last seven races for Smith as it capped the best season in the short history of the Denver, Colo.-based team.

Smith, who started the 267-lap event from the 10th position, was running solidly in 12th place late in the race, but an untimely caution shortly after the last pit stop was costly as he lost five spots in track position.

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“It would have been a lot better to end the season with a 12th-place finish, but there’s not much we could have done there at the end — we caught a bad break pitting just before a caution,” stated Smith. “But looking at the big picture, I truly feel that we’ve come on strong and definitely hit a new level of performance at the end of the season. We are all pumped about 2011.”

Crew chief Pete Rondeau said, “It was a good end to a rough week.”

Rondeau was referring to Monday’s highway accident in Colorado which resulted in heavy damage to the team’s transporter as it was returning from last Sunday’s race in Phoenix. With little time before the next race, the team managed to make contingency plans in a short period of time. Along with Richard Childress Racing graciously providing a fully-loaded transporter at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Furniture Row team also received an outpouring of support from the NASCAR community.

“We are very thankful for the outside support,” added Rondeau. “I am also proud of everyone on this team for the extra effort given during a time of adversity. It definitely says plenty about the character of our Furniture Row Racing operation.”

The Ford 400 race winner at Homestead was Carl Edwards — his second straight victory. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and AJ Allmendinger.

Johnson captured the season Sprint Cup title — his fifth straight championship. Denny Hamlin was second — 39 points behind and Harvick was third — 41 points behind.

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