Smith Finishes 23rd in Phoenix

PHOENIX (Nov. 14, 2010) -- Regan Smith posted a 23rd-place finish in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Smith, who started the 312-lap race from the eighth position, could not get up to speed due to a shock issue on his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.

"We couldn't get through the corners like we wanted to because of a shock problem," said Smith. "But we were able to maintain a low 20th position throughout the race. As we've been saying lately we won't be happy unless we get a top-15 or better finish. And with that said, we're not leaving Phoenix with any smiles on our faces."

Though Smith was not pleased with the overall performance, he feels the team gained plenty of knowledge throughout the weekend.

"We continue to learn and I have a good feeling about what we can do next week at Homestead," stated Smith. "It's a mile-and-a-half track and those are the venues where we seem to do our best. We're going to fight hard to finish off the season with a strong result and carry our late-season momentum into 2011."

Crew chief Pete Rondeau echoed the same feelings as his driver.

"Qualifying eighth for the second straight race was a positive and there were other positives throughout the weekend," noted Rondeau. "We're going into the final race with everything we have and I am confident that we can end the season on a high note."

The race winner was Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson.

Denny Hamlin, who finished 12th, leaves Phoenix with a 15-point lead over Johnson in the Chase. Kevin Harvick is third -- 46 points behind.

The 36th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season is Sunday (Nov. 21) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.