No. 01 DEI/Principal Financial Group Team Have High Hopes for Desert

Mooresville, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2008) – With an average finish of 35th over the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup events, Dan Stillman, crew chief on Regan Smith’s No. 01 DEI/Principal Financial Group Chevrolet, hopes that a trip to the Arizona desert will bring about a reversal of his team’s fortune. As the series heads to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, Stillman knows that his team could be competitive on the flat, 1.0-mile oval.
“If you look at tracks that are similar to Phoenix – places like Loudon and Richmond – we’ve run pretty well there,” Stillman said. “The strongest part of our program has been the smaller, flat tracks. Hopefully, that trend will continue this weekend.”
The trip out west has already been an eventful one for the No. 01 team. Chassis number #1-057, the primary car for Sunday, was slightly damaged while being transported across the country in the team’s hauler.
“It was nothing major,” Stillman said. “The car was strapped down but somehow shifted over during transport. The right side was beat in a little bit, but not bad. Luckily, Kevin Manion (crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Martin Truex Jr.) and his team are going to help us fix it when we get out there. It’s all about teamwork with our organization.”
Smith, driver of the No. 01 Chevrolet, is locked in a tight battle for rookie of the year honors. He currently trails Sam Hornish Jr., 198-194, in rookie points.
“We’re running out of time as far as the rookie deal is concerned,” Smith said. “It’s hard to make up four points with only two races left. We need two really strong runs to finish the season. I’ve got faith in myself and my team. If anybody can comeback and win it, these guys can.
“I’m excited to see what we can do on Sunday.”
Regan Smith’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Results at Phoenix International Raceway:
1 start, 298 of 312 laps completed (95.5%), 0 laps led
Win: 0 (0.0%)                        Average start:  38.0                Total Winnings: $72,250
Top 5: 0 (0.0%)                     Average finish: 35.0
Top 10: 0 (0.0%)                   DNF: 0
Car Facts: #1-057, last used at Martinsville in October (finished 42nd)
Race Facts: 312 laps/312 miles
Qualifying: Friday, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN 2, PRN Radio)
Race: Sunday, 3:00 p.m. ET (ABC, PRN Radio)