Smith Finishes 19th in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 30, 2010) -- A steady performance by Regan Smith gave the Furniture Row Racing driver a solid 19th-place finish in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It was the debut race as crew chief for Pete Rondeau, who was pleased with the overall performance of the No. 78 team.

"It was a good start and a good team effort," said Rondeau. "We have something to build as we keep on communicating. Regan did a good job and we're all feeling positive."

Smith, who started 32nd, moved forward rather quickly and ran a good portion of the 400-lap, 600-mile race in the mid to high teens. It was the second top-20 result in the last three point races for the Denver, Colo.-based team. Smith finished 17th in Darlington, S.C. three week ago.  

"The Furniture Row Chevy was strong tonight," said Smith. "We were consistent for most of the race. I thought we had a better car than 19th, but the steady performance was encouraging. Pete (Rondeau) made good calls in his first race as crew chief. If we only could have seen some clean air at the end, I am pretty sure our car would have had a lot better finish. The No. 78 Chevy definitely had potential tonight. We're patiently getting to a new level of performance."

The winner in NASCAR's longest race was Kurt Busch, who also won last week's All-Star event at Charlotte. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and David Reutimann.

The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday (June 6) at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.