Smith Feels Furniture Row Team On Brink of New Performance Level
LONG POND, Pa. (June 3, 2009) -- The finishes have been respectable, but Regan Smith wants more. The Furniture Row Racing driver feels the team is close to achieving a new performance level on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
It might sound like a bold statement for a part-time, single-car team, which is based in Denver, Colo. But the 25-year-old Smith has the data to back up his optimism.
In seven of the 13 Cup events the Furniture Row team has entered in 2009, Smith has qualified in every race and has posted a 22.43 average finish out of the 43-starting positions. He has had five top-22 results, including a season best of 15th at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 26.
"We've been decent, but it could have been better had it not been for some mistakes and a couple of bad breaks," said Smith. "We're stuck in the low 20s and need to move on to top-15 finishes and then to top 10s. There's a lot of talent on this team and we know that we can get there."
Smith and the No. 78 Furniture Row team will be at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway this weekend to compete at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a new Chevrolet Impala SS.
"I've been told the new car is the team's lightest to date -- I am excited about that," noted Smith, the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year.
The trip to Pocono, which will be the eighth of 15 races scheduled for the No. 78 team, will also serve as a data-collection mission for the July Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- another 2.5 mile oval.
"We selected Pocono for a couple of reasons," said crew chief Jay Guy. "We not only feel that we can run well there, but it will also give us a good handle for Indy since there are a number of similarities between the two high-speed flat tracks."
Smith, who has been running at the finish in every one of his 48 career Cup races, has two starts at Pocono, which came last season while driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. He qualified fourth and finished 28th in the first race and qualified 36th and finished 25th in the second race.
Smith's 2009 Results
Daytona 42 21
Las Vegas 18 19
Texas 33 31
Phoenix 9 28
Talladega 6 15
Darlington 29 21
Dover 33 22