Fuel Shortage Spoils Smith's Solid Performance in New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. (July 17, 2011) -- Regan Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team felt they were in position to take a gamble in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but unfortunately the decision didn't play out in their favor.

With the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 coming down to fuel mileage, Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet fell short of having enough fuel and saw a possible top-15 or top-10 finish turn into a 33rd-place result.

Just before Smith radioed his team that he was out of fuel, he was running in the top 12 with only a few laps remaining in the 301-lap race.

"Not quite enough fuel," said a disappointed Smith. "We knew it was going to be close, but it just wasn't our day to have a little luck. A couple more caution laps since our last pit stop would have made the difference. We ran strong all day but to come home 33rd does not, by any means, indicate how well our Furniture Row Chevrolet performed today."

Smith's last trip down pit road for fuel was on Lap 216.

"We knew it was going to be tight to make it the rest of the way, but sometimes you just have to roll the dice and say 'let's go for it,' " said Smith.  

Smith started the race from the 11th position and ran in or just outside of the top-10 for a good portion of the race. For instance, he was running in 10th at Lap 240, ninth at Lap 270 and 11th at Lap 285.    

"We haven't had a lot of success at New Hampshire's flat track, but it looked like we were going to change that," stated Smith. "You hate to see a solid performance end up with a bad finish. But we'll take the positives and go on from here."

The race winner was Ryan Newman. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson.

The Sprint Cup Series has the coming weekend off. The next race is July 31, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.