Smith's Solid Run Slowed with Early Incident in Michigan Race  

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 13, 2010) -- Regan Smith finished 23rd in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race, but had it not been for an early incident, the Furniture Row Racing team appeared to have a car capable of a top-15 or better result at Michigan International Speedway.

Smith, who started 23rd, moved forward as soon as the green flag dropped to start the 200-lap, 400-mile race. He was running in 15th place when he made contact with the No. 47 car of Marcos Ambrose on Lap 19, which brought out the first caution of the race.

Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet suffered right-front damage and the team was forced to take extra time on ensuing pit stops to band aid the problem.

"We fought hard after that early incident," said crew chief Pete Rondeau. "It was another good solid run -- our third one in a row. Regan was comfortable and happy with the car most of the day. Everybody is doing a good job here."   

Smith was indeed happy with the performance of his Furniture Row Chevrolet, but wasn't happy about driving an injured car for all but 19 laps on the two-mile oval.

"We had a really good race car all weekend," said Smith. "The way we were running early I felt this could be a special day. The Furniture Row Chevrolet was that good. I am not 100 percent sure what happened in the incident with Marcos (Ambrose). It definitely hurt us from reaching our goal of a top-15 finish."

Smith's Chevrolet  was also the first car a lap down. "We needed one more caution to get back on the lead lap and be in position to gain in track position," stated Smith. "We had the car that could pass even though it was damaged. The front-end was torn up pretty good."

The race winner in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup race was Denny Hamlin -- his second straight win. Rounding out the top five in order were: Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

The next race in the Sprint Cup event will be on a road course -- Sunday (June 20) at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.