Strong Effort Gives Smith 12th-Place Finish in Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 4, 2009) -- Regan Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team produced their best result of the season with a 12th-place finish in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.
The event was the 18th Cup race of the season, but only the 10th for the part-time Furniture Row team, which is based in Denver, Colo.
With qualifying being rained out on Friday, Smith started the 160-lap, 400-mile race from the 43rd position. The 2008 Rookie of the Year patiently picked his way through the field, maneuvering his No. 78 Chevy Impala SS through a maze of traffic at the high-speed 2.5-mile tri-oval.
"It was a good result, but we really wanted a top-10 and nearly did it," said Smith. "At the end, I was right up there and it was a lot of fun. The pit stops were excellent, especially the last one (Lap 147)."
When the race was restarted for the final time on Lap 157, Smith was running in ninth place.
"On the final run, I got boxed in and lost some track position," added Smith, whose running-at-the-finish streak is now at 51 straight races. "Tonight's performance was a big morale boost for the entire Furniture Row Racing organization."
Furniture Row crew chief Jay Guy had mixed feelings about the final result.
"It was a decent run, but we sure had our hopes a lot higher," stated Guy. "We had a really good car tonight, but through nobody's fault we got in the wrong line on the final run. Regan did another great job -- he's a smart driver. We'll take the 12th-place finish and move on."
The next race for the Furniture Row Racing team will be Sunday, July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
The Daytona race winner was Tony Stewart. Rounding out the top five in order were: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch.