Smith Fights Car and Track, Finishes 29th at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C.  (May 10, 2008) – Regan Smith’s first race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in a Sprint Cup car was an adventure from beginning to end. His weekend began with him scraping the wall in practice and earning his “Darlington Stripe”. After repairs were made to his No. 01 DEI/Principal Financial Group Chevrolet, the rookie of the year candidate ran some of his fastest practice times.

Smith backed up his practice runs by qualifying 16th for the Dodge Challenger 500, his best starting position of the year.

The track was not finished with Smith however, as he fought a tight race car during the event before eventually making contact with the wall again.

“This place is so tough,” Smith said. “It definitely deserves its reputation.”

Crew chief Doug Richert made a number of changes to the car during each pit stop, including air pressure and track bar adjustments.

“The guys did everything they could,” continued Smith. “We just couldn’t get the tightness out of the car. This place is so hard to pass at anyway, and this car is just hard to turn in the corners.”

Even though the result was not what he wanted, Smith did take some positives from the weekend.

“I got a lot of experience out there the past few days,” Smith said. “This was my first time here in a Cup car and I managed to finish the race and bring the car home in one piece. It’s all part of the learning process.”