Frustrating Day at Martinsville for Smith, Furniture Row Racing

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 29, 2010) --  A combination of handling problems and two flat tires resulted in a 32nd-place finish for Regan Smith in Monday's rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.

Smith, who started 28th, had issues early with a tight-handling racecar. No matter what adjustments were made to the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Smith could not find the proper grip for the .526-mile track.

Twice during the 508-lap overtime race, Smith suffered a blown right-front tire. The tire issues coupled with handling problems made it a difficult day for the Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team. 

"It was a long, frustrating day," said Smith. "We all know that we're going to experience days like today, but hopefully it will be a long time before this happens again. We just couldn't get anything going. Tires and excessive break heat were a problem, and the handling of the car just made things worse. When the car isn't right for Martinsville, the track will step up and bite you, as it did to us today."

The finish left Smith in 32nd-place in the Sprint Cup driver point standings. 

The race winner was Denny Hamlin, who drove from fourth to first in the green-white-checkered finish. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

The Sprint Cup circuit will have Easter weekend off. The next Cup race is slated for Saturday April 10 at Phoenix International Raceway.