Smith Aims to Tame Another Challenging Track
DENVER, Colo. (June 8, 2011) -- All the prerace chatter about Pocono Raceway's three-turn configuration, the long straightaway or the much anticipated tunnel turn doesn't faze Regan Smith.
"This is NASCAR and we want to have challenging and unique tracks to race at; it would be pretty boring if all the venues where identical," said Smith, as he gets ready for Sunday's 5-Star Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, knows about challenging and unique race tracks. His victory on May 7 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway is considered one of the most challenging as it continues to live up to its moniker -- The Track Too Tough To Tame.
"I like the idea of going to a different-style track," stated Smith. "You have your favorites and there are some tracks that might not suit your style the best or that might wear on your psyche a little. But overall I like them all. A negative approach about a facility can only hinder your performance."
Although he has only competed in five-career races at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, Smith's main concern in not about the track, but finding more consistency with his No. 78 Furniture Row team.
"Pocono is where we need to start nailing down consistent finishes in our Furniture Row Chevrolet," said Smith. "Lately, it's been one good race, one bad race. You can't have that, we need to start stringing some good results together. The potential is there, but we need to avoid mistakes and mechanical issues."
After his win at Darlington, Smith's next race at Dover produced a 34th-place finish due to a broken track bar mount. He came back strong at Charlotte, finishing eighth. But slipped last week in Kansas with a 24th-place result.
"If we can have an error-free race I feel we can come out of Pocono with a strong finish," noted Smith. "We were decent there last year, and after only five career races at Pocono I am understanding the tunnel turn and the configuration of the track much better."
Last year in his fourth and fifth career starts at Pocono, Smith posted finishes of 18th and 21st.