Accident, Fuel Issue Force Smith to Retire Early From All-Star Race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 21, 2011) -- A double whammy late in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race dropped Regan Smith to a 20th-place finish.
While patiently running in the top 14 with 22 laps remaining in the 100-lap race, Smith spun out after taking a hit from the No. 17 car (Matt Kenseth). Though Smith's No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet suffered damage and was aerodynamically handicapped, it was still able to continue in the competition at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But as Smith was getting ready to pit before the final 10-lap segment, his car stalled on the track and was pushed to the team's pit box by a safety vehicle. Unfortunately, the Furniture Row crew was not able to restart the car after a number of attempts, forcing Smith to retire from the race 10 laps shy of the finish.
"A very disappointing end to an exciting week of Sprint All-Star activities," said Smith. "I am not sure why our Furniture Row Chevrolet wouldn't fire at the end, it could have been a fuel pump issue or a number of other reasons. But to be part of the Sprint All-Star Race for the first time in my career was an awesome experience. To qualify for this race next year will be one of our main goals."
Smith earned a berth in the non-points Sprint All-Star Race as a result of his Southern 500 win two weeks ago at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
The Sprint All-Star winner was Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Kyle Busch, David Reutimann, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle.
Sprint Cup action will continue next Sunday (May 29) at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the running of the Coca-Cola 600, the longest points race of the season.