Smith, Furniture Row Racing Rebound with 20th-Place Finish at Chicagoland Speedway
JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2010) -- After starting at the rear of the field (41st), Regan Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team tenaciously battled back to post a 20th-place finish in Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway.
When the first caution waved on Lap 39 of 267 Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet had already gained 10 positions on the 1.5-mile oval. Smith patiently bided his time as the race wore on and moved into the top-20 on Lap 190.
"There were a lot of long faces yesterday after we qualified 41st," said Smith, who tied Matt Kenseth for the biggest improvement of 21 positions from start to finish. "But tonight was different -- we made a nice recovery to finish 20th. We made a lot of changes overnight and looked at everything. I also looked at everything that I was doing and watched last year's race about 25 times. We're not overly happy with the result, but considering the tough times we had the past three weeks we are feeling a lot more upbeat."
Speaking of the last three weeks -- Sonoma, New Hampshire and Daytona -- Smith endured two accidents, a fractured wrist and finishes of 38, 33 and 33.
"We're back to where we belong and we can once again start focusing on getting to the next level," said crew chief Pete Rondeau. "It was really gratifying to see the fight we had tonight after yesterday's disappointment. Regan did a great job wheeling the Furniture Row Chevy tonight. Our pit crew also did a good job. It was a great team effort overall."
The Chicagoland result was the sixth top-20 finish of the season for Smith and the Furniture Row team.
The race winner was David Reutimann. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray.
The Sprint Cup circuit will have next weekend off and resume action Sunday, July 25 in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.