No Looking Back for Smith, Focus on Pocono
DENVER, Colo. (July 28, 2010) -- If he wanted to, Regan Smith could probably give a lengthy dissertation about “would've-should've-could'ves” in regards to the season's first 20 Sprint Cup races. But the chances are slim to none for the Furniture Row Racing driver to rehash the many unfortunate incidents which have prevented the Colorado-based team from showing its full potential.
"It is what it is and there is no sense in looking back -- we need to look forward especially to Sunday's race at Pocono," said Smith. "We know we have the talent to start a string of solid finishes. But before we can achieve a positive streak, we need to get rid of the gremlins."
Those gremlins resurfaced again in last Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when smoke began to fill the cockpit of Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet on Lap 100 of 160. The culprit was a fluid leak which caused the rear-end gear to smolder.
"We ran as high as 14th at Indy and were looking for a top-15 or better finish," recalled Smith. "We've had too many of these "what if" races. It's time for a turnaround."
Smith's first shot at beginning a positive streak in his Furniture Row Chevrolet would be Sunday at the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. In the June race at the 2.5-mile triangular track, Smith posted an 18th-place finish.
When asked earlier in the season about his thoughts on Pocono, Smith said, "Pocono is a unique track with three different turns. There's always going to be that one turn that will throw a wrinkle into the car setup. But Pocono is a long race that rewards patience and hitting the right marks."
He added, "Along with overcoming the gremlin issue, we also need to improve on our qualifying efforts. When you start past mid pack you put yourself in an early hole. At some tracks where passing is a problem then qualifying becomes even more important. We've talked about this issue and I look for our No. 78 car to start picking up the pace in qualifying."
Speaking of time trials, Smith's best career qualifying effort of fourth was achieved three times, including once at Pocono Raceway in June 2008.
"Right now we would take a starting position of fourth," noted the 26-year-old Smith. "We have the horsepower. It's just a matter of making it all come together when it counts. The good news for all of us at Furniture Row Racing is that we can't wait to get back to the track because we all feel that we're close to that breakout race."