Smith, Furniture Row Excited About Superspeedway Racing

DAYTONA BEACH,  Fla. (July 2, 2009) – The anticipation of a superspeedway race yields an extra boost of confidence for driver Regan Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team.

The reason is simple. History has shown that the part-time team has the muscle to compete at the restricted-plate tracks.

Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway will offer another opportunity for Smith and the Denver, Colo.-based team to showcase its talent.

At the previous superspeedway event – Talladega in April – Smith produced his best qualifying effort (sixth) and best finish of the season (15th). While the two markers were more than respectable, they were not satisfying to Smith, the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year.

“I don’t want to sound cocky or arrogant, but the truth is we were looking to qualify better at Talladega and be a contender,” offered Smith, who has been running at the finish in every one of his 50 career Cup starts. “We believed in our equipment then and have the same feeling for this weekend in Daytona.”

Smith has also proved that he can maneuver his Furniture Row Chevy at the superspeedway tracks and play the cerebral game of keeping pace in the lead draft. 

He narrowly won last fall’s Talladega race as he passed Tony Stewart on the last lap to lead the field to the checkered flag. But his apparent victory was nullified after NASCAR ruled that he passed Stewart below the out-of-bounds yellow line.

“That decision still haunts me,” said Smith. “The only way to get it out of my mind is to go out there and win one of these races.”

The Daytona race will be the 10th Cup event of the season for Smith and the Furniture Row team. Led by crew chief Jay guy and its Hendrick-powered engines, Smith not only has qualified at every event, he has produced respectable performances.

At the season-opening Daytona 500, Smith was running in the top-10 before slipping back after his No. 78 Impala SS suffered minor damage in a multicar accident. Smith was marching to the front again, but his momentum was halted when the race was called for rain on Lap 152 of 200.  He finished 21st.

“You never know about these restrictor-plate races, but if we can manage to stay out of trouble, I have a good feeling that we’re going to have a strong performance,” added Smith.