Regan Smith sees positive trend after first two races

[media-credit name=”” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]DENVER, Colo. (March¬†8, 2012)¬†‚Äď Two down and 34 races to go and already Regan Smith is seeing a positive trend despite finishes of 24th¬†in Daytona and 20th¬†in Phoenix.

The Furniture Row Racing driver was in position to post top-10 results in each of the first two Sprint Cup events, but late-race incidents spoiled his performances.

The culprits were a multicar accident in the opening Daytona 500 and running out of fuel in Phoenix. He was positioned in 10th-place in Sunday’s race at Phoenix until his car started to sputter with an empty fuel tank with nearly two laps remaining.

American Muscle

‚ÄúSquandering top-10s is unsettling,‚ÄĚ said Smith, who is currently 19th in driver points. ‚ÄúBut considering what happened to our team in the late stages of the first two races our finishes weren‚Äôt too bad.

‚ÄúI am also aware that the Daytona and Phoenix finishes could have been much worse after getting collected in an accident and running out of fuel. They most likely would have been worse last year. As I have stated, our goal in 2012 is to make our bad or hard-luck days better than they were in 2011. So far we‚Äôre on track with that goal.‚ÄĚ

Smith noted that when he ran out of fuel while running in the top-10 in New Hampshire last July he finished 33rd and when he got collected in an accident at the first Phoenix race of 2011 he left the 1-mile oval with a 34th-place result.

‚ÄúNow we have to overcome Las Vegas,‚ÄĚ noted Smith, who suffered an engine failure last year and finished 39th.

‚ÄúJudging from the first two races we know if we can finish the race clean, we‚Äôre going to have a good result,‚ÄĚ explained Smith. ‚ÄúThe performance is there, we just need to capitalize on what we have and produce a strong finish. Las Vegas is a mile-and-a-half track that we like and this will be a good test for us to see how we fare at an intermediate track, which makes up the bulk of our races.‚ÄĚ

Smith’s best results in Las Vegas came in 2009 and 2010 with finishes of 19th and 21st respectively.

Smith’s Las Vegas Motor Speedway Record Year          St     Fn 2008         28      34

2009         18      19

2010         28      21

2011         12      39

No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew Front-tire changer              Shane Pipala Front-tire carrier                 Jon Bernal Rear-tire changer               Coleman Dollarhide Rear-tire carrier:                 Dwayne Moore Jackman:                            Gabe Martin Gasman:                             Justin White 2nd Gasman:                      Ryan Bergenty 7th Man/Windshield:         Todd Carmichael _____________________________________________

No. 78 Road Crew Crew Chief                         Pete Rondeau Competition Director        Mark McArdle Car Chief                            Robert Huffman Engineers:                          Phil Jiminez,                                              Matt Faulkner Spotter                                Clayton Hughes Engine Specialist              Scott Meesters Engine Builder                   Earnhardt-Childress Racing Shock Specialist                Nick Kerlin Tire Specialist                    Chad Krauch Technical Support              Michael McCullough Mechanics                           Ryan Bergenty                                               Todd Carmichael                                               Joe Kerrigan Transportation                    Henry Benfield (also gas runner), Greg Fulp                                               Jim Gilbert, Dave Hicks                                               Chuck Lemay, John Slingerland

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