Nervous Regan Smith Tosses First Pitch With Success at Rockies-Phillies Game
DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 3, 2011) -- Regan Smith said he was more nervous throwing out the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday at Coors Field than he was prior to competing in Sunday's Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
But as he did with his third-place Brickyard finish in his No. 78 Chevrolet, the Furniture Row Racing driver came through again before the Colorado Rockies-Philadelphia Phillies baseball game. Smith hurled the baseball with authority to Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta.
"The pitch was high, but it was over the plate with some heat," said a relieved Smith, who practiced throwing a baseball the day before outside the team's race shop in Denver.
"Better than 90 percent of the throws," a fan yelled to Smith, who graciously responded with a wave and a thumbs up.
When Smith walked to the pitcher's mound wearing a No. 78 Rockies jersey, he was greeted with a roaring applause as the Jumbotron in left-center field ran footage of his victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
"That was a very nice reception," said Smith. "Being at Coors Field -- an awesome facility -- was truly special. The Colorado folks have adopted us as their NASCAR team and we are equally as proud to represent them week in and week out on the Sprint Cup circuit."
Following the ceremonial first pitch, Smith conducted an autograph session at Coors Field.
"I want to thank the Rockies organization for the invite," said Smith. "It was a great day for our Furniture Row Racing organization."
It will be back to racing business for Smith in a few days, who will be looking to continue his Indianapolis success in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
"We have some momentum now after finishing third in Indy last week and it's time for us to string a number of good finishes together," explained Smith. "We've been running better lately and that's a good sign of things to come. Pocono should be a good track for our Furniture Row Chevrolet -- we're capable of coming away with a top-10 finish. In fact, it is our goal at every race to have a top-10 result."
Smith added, "Fuel mileage played in our favor Sunday at Indy, but not at New Hampshire a few weeks ago. I hope that Pocono is a straight-up race and not another fuel mileage deal. I am not a big fan of fuel mileage races."