(june 6, 2010)

Smith Runs Strong, Finishes 18th in Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. (June 6, 2010) -- Regan Smith finished 18th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway, his third top-20 finish in the last four races. He finished 19th last week in Charlotte and 17th four weeks ago in Darlington S.C.

Though the 18th-place result was a respectable result, there was some disappointment in the Furniture Row camp due to a late hit that took Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet out of top-10 contention in the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500.

Smith, who started 24th, was running in the top-10 late in the 204-lap overtime race, thanks to a well-calculated pit and fuel strategy. But when the race was restarted with fewer than 20 laps remaining, Smith got hit from behind, causing suspension damage to his car.

"We had a good run going but that late hit slowed us down," stated Smith. "We just didn't have the same kind of power with our Furniture Row Chevy. We all did a good job today, but saw a good opportunity slip away due to a typical late-race aggressive restart. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But looking at the big picture we are making some really positive gains. It's been fun."

Smith gained three spots in the driver point standings and currently sits in 28th-place. 

"If we keep running like we have been those top 10s will come and our position in the standings will continue to improve," said Smith. "Improving each week is what it's all about."

The race winner was Denny Hamlin. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson.

The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday (June 13) at Michigan International Speedway.