Same RCR Car Lifts Smith's Outlook for Texas
DENVER, Colo. (April 14, 2010) -- The No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet that Regan Smith will drive in Texas this weekend will be the same Richard Childress Racing-built car that he drove last week in Phoenix.
The Phoenix race was the first time that Furniture Row Racing entered a RCR-built car since the two companies formed a technical and engineering alliance at the beginning of the season.
"Texas will be our second straight race with a RCR car," said Smith. "On paper the Phoenix finish (26th) wasn't that good, but we sure made some gains after slipping with poor performances in Bristol (36th) and Martinsville (32nd). Having the same RCR car in Texas as we had in Phoenix gives us a good feeling about this weekend. We know Texas is a fast track and we're fine with that."
Smith, his crew chief, Ryan Coniam, and other members of the Denver, Colo-based team got together for a post-Phoenix debriefing and a pre-Texas game plan.
"It was a great meeting as we addressed many issues," noted Smith. "We felt that we were heading in the right direction, but have plenty of work ahead of us, especially with our qualifying performances. We haven't been qualifying that well and need to bump up that effort. Where you start has a lot to do on how the race plays out."
For the record, Smith has a 27.33 average starting position at the last six races. "That's not good, we definitely need to be better in qualifying," stated Smith.
With Texas being a 1.5-mile track, Smith was asked to evaluate the team's performances at the intermediate tracks.
"Actually our performances at the intermediate tracks so far have been a little better than we expected," offered Smith. "We had finishes of 19th in California, 21st in Las Vegas and 14th in Atlanta. It's been the two short track finishes of 36th in Bristol and 32nd in Martinsville that have really hurt us. We expected to be better at the short tracks. But it's still early in the season, and this is a committed team. Knowing what we have learned recently, I only have an optimistic outlook with Furniture Row Racing."
After seven races, Smith is 32nd in Sprint Cup driver points.
"As I keep on saying, it's early in the season," said the 26-year-old Smith. "With all the new people at Furniture Row Racing and the new alliance with RCR, we're going through a learning process. It's going to take time, but once we start to click, it's going to be good."