Smith Eager for Dover Return
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 23, 2009) -- Regan Smith has been itching to get back to Dover International Speedway ever since his last performance at the Monster Mile in June.
Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet Impala SS, posted a 22nd-place finish in Dover's spring event, but knows that he was one lucky dog away from a top-15 or better finish.
"The 22nd-place finish might have been respectable, especially for a single-car, part-time team," said Smith, who turned 26-years-old today (Sept. 23). "But the performance was indeed much better than the result. We ran as high as 12th and then slipped back. We lost a lap, and when we were in position to get the lucky dog free pass, the caution didn't play in our favor. I've always liked Dover and it's like having a comfort zone when it comes to a race track."
Based on the positive performance in June, crew chief Jay Guy said the team will be bringing the same car for this weekend's AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
"We had a good run the last time at Dover, but didn't capitalize on what we had," noted Guy. "We know that we can be competitive at this track and come away with a top-15 finish. We would like to get back to more consistency as we are gearing up for a full-time season in 2010."
But while Smith and Guy talk about producing a strong finish on Sunday, there's that one little matter that continues to hang with them.
"We can talk all we want about having a solid finish, but our first objective is to qualify the Furniture Row Chevy," stated Smith, who has qualified in 13 of the 14 races entered this season. "I think we all feel confident about making the big show on Sunday, but one little hiccup during Friday's qualifying session can make for an awful bad day in a hurry."
Smith's best finish at Dover was 21st, which came in his first race at the Delaware track in June 2008.
"In two of the three races I've competed at Dover, I managed to pull off finishes in the low 20s," said Smith. "I would like to step it up and get in the teens or even a top 10. I know that this team has the resources and capabilities to do well."
Smith's best finishes this season were 12th at the summer Daytona race and 15th at the April Talladega event.
The Furniture Row team, which started the 2009 season with a 12-race schedule, has increased the total to 20. Following Dover, which is the team's 15th Cup event entered, the remaining scheduled races are: Fontana, Calif. (Oct. 11), Talladega (Nov. 1), Texas (Nov. 8), Phoenix (Nov. 15) and Homestead-Miami (Nov. 22).