Smith Primed for First All – Star Weekend

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 13, 2008) – The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been one of many “firsts” for Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Regan Smith. It has seen his first full season at the Cup level, his first time running at many of the tracks where the series competes and, this weekend, his first time competing in the Sprint All–Star Weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Smith will be competing in Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown, a race consisting of two 20–lap segments. Only the top-two finishers in the event and a driver determined by fan voting make it into the Sprint All–Star Race later in the evening.

“The best thing about the Showdown is that it’s a ‘go for broke’ type of race,” Smith said. “It’s a short race so you don’t have to think about pit strategy, tire wear or any of those types of things. Plus, it doesn’t pay any (Sprint Cup) points so you’ve got nothing to lose. You just get up on the wheel and go as hard as you can. It reminds me of racing on the short tracks, where you have a short qualifying race and only the top couple of guys make it to the feature.”

Although this will be his first start at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a Cup car, the driver of the No. 01 DEI/Principal Financial Group Chevrolet does have two top-10 finishes in five Nationwide Series starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“I’m so used to not having much experience at some of these tracks that it doesn’t even faze me anymore,” Smith said. “It’s all part of being a rookie. It’s a challenge that I look forward to. I know that there are going to be a lot of great drivers in the Shootout, but I really like our chances.”

Car Facts: #053, finished 34th at Las Vegas and 35th at Texas

Race: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (SPEED)