Engine Failure Spoils Strong Performance by Smith, Furniture Row Racing
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 25, 2010) -- Regan Smith was enjoying one of his best races of the season until an engine failure sidelined him prematurely with a frustrating 38th-place finish in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Smith's No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet was running in the top-five when smoke started to spew from his motor on lap 100 of 200.
"There was no warning, it (the motor) just broke," said Smith. "Very frustrating. We've always had good speedway cars but this one was really strong. I am proud of our guys, they built a great racecar. I can't complain, Hendrick builds us great motors and we rarely have trouble with them."
Prior to the engine malfunction, Smith ran consistently in the top-five and top-10. He led twice for three laps and when he lost ground in the draft, he came right back to the front.
"Regan was in cruise mode, just trying to stay out of trouble and run up front," said crew chief Ryan Coniam. "We talked about a game plan before the race and debated if we should hang in the back or go right to the front. Regan chose to go to the front and did a great job there. He's a hell of a (restrictor) plate racer. It's really disappointing to have this happen after running in the top-10 and top-five all day."
So far for Smith and the Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row team it's been a double whammy season of superpseedway racing. At the season-opening Daytona 500, Smith was collected in an accident on Lap 9 of 200.
"We've had nothing but bad luck so far on superspeedways," said Smith. "As I keep on saying, we have a great superspeedway program, and eventually the luck will change and we'll come away with a strong finish. But right now our thoughts are on Saturday night's short track race in Richmond."
Smith dropped to 33rd in driver points and 32nd in owner points.
The event, which went 12 laps into overtime and with the maximum of three green-white-checkered restarts, was won by Kevin Harvick, who snapped a 115-race winless drought. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin.
Talladega was the second of four superspeedway races. The next one is July 3 at Daytona International Speedway.