Pikes Peak Test Preps Smith, Furniture Row Racing for Phoenix Cup Race

DENVER, Colo. (April 7, 2010) --  Regan Smith's confidence meter took a jump following a successful test session Tuesday at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.

Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team will no doubt attempt to transfer the data learned at the Pikes Peak facility to its No. 78 Chevrolet for Saturday evening's Subway Fresh Fit 600k NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Like Pikes Peak, the Phoenix oval is also one-mile in distance.

"Last year we tested at Pikes Peak the week of the Phoenix race and it paid off -- we had one of our best performances of the season," said Smith. "During Tuesday's test we worked on brakes and found a few things that we're going to implement this weekend in Phoenix." 

At the 2009 April race in Phoenix, Smith qualified ninth and ran in the top-10 for a good portion of the race. He was in position for a possible top-10 finish, but a pit road miscue late in the race sent him to the back with a 28th-place result.

"Though I was extremely disappointed and left the racetrack in a sour mood, deep down I knew we hit a new level as a race team," recalled Smith. "Qualifying in the top-10 and running neck and neck with the big dogs of the sport was a great feeling. That's what we want to do this weekend after two sub par performances. We have what it takes, we just need to go out there and do it."

After finishing a season high of 14th at Atlanta in early March, Smith struggled at the past two races with finishes of 36th in Bristol, Tenn. and 32nd in Martinsville, Va.

"We just didn't get the job done at the past two races, not much else to say," offered Smith. "We have to get back to basics and run the way we're capable of running. I like the Phoenix track, and I also had some pretty good runs there in the Nationwide Series. Picking up momentum is what we need right now. We need to make a move."

Smith's best run at Phoenix in the Nationwide Series was eighth in 2007 while driving for Ginn Racing.