Accident Ruins Smith's Strong Run in All-Star Showdown Race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 22, 2010) -- A charging Regan Smith saw a solid performance come to an abrupt halt in Saturday night's Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap go-for-broke race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The non-points event showcased 29 cars battling it out with only the top-two finishers transferring into the main event -- the Sprint All-Star Race.
Smith started 11th and drove tenaciously as he immediately zoomed forward in his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet. But on Lap 17 and running fifth, he got tangled with Juan Pablo Montoya, sending both drivers into the wall and eventually to the garage with a premature ending. Smith was credited with a 26th-place finish.
"The replay in my head says that he (Montoya) wasn't clear and he was trying to take some space that wasn't his," said Smith about the accident. "In an event like this, you aren't going to give that up. I'm sure he has a different opinion."
Smith added, "I guess you can say it was a good news, bad news night of racing for our Furniture Row team. The bad news is that we didn't get to finish the race and have a shot at gaining a berth in the All-Star Race. The good news is that we really had a competitive car for this track, which gives us a lot of confidence for next week's Coca-Cola 600."
The 1.5-mile Charlotte oval will host the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30 -- NASCAR's traditional Memorial Day weekend event. The 400-lap, 600-mile race is the longest on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
The top-two finishers in the Showdown were Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle.
The winner of the Sprint All-Star Race was Kurt Busch. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Truex, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart.