Devastation of Colorado fires puts racing issues
in perspective for Smith, Furniture Row Racing

DENVER, Colo. (July 3, 2012) -- To see improving performances spoiled by an overload of bad luck has been discouraging for Regan Smith in recent Sprint Cup races. But at the same time the Furniture Row Racing driver just needs to look outside of his mountain home near Denver to get a crueler perspective of tough luck. 

Before leaving for Kentucky last week, Smith said he could see and smell the smoke from the raging fires that have engulfed Colorado, where more than 300 homes have gone up in flames and more than 100,000 acres torched.  

"I love this area and it tears your insides apart seeing the destruction that has taken place," said Smith, who moved to Colorado last year to be near the team's Denver race shop. "Our recent issues are minimal compared to the fire-stricken families.

"I want Colorado residents to know that our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected and that Furniture Row Racing is very proud to represent the great state of Colorado on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. I also want to give a team shout out to the brave firefighters and safety personnel who risk their lives daily in their continuing efforts to control and extinguish the fires."

Though Smith's home has not been affected, the devastation of the Colorado fires will no doubt be on his mind in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. The 160-lap, 400-mile superspeedway event will mark the season's halfway mark in the 36-race schedule.

"We started the season in Daytona and we'll be looking at starting another new season in Daytona this weekend," stated Smith. "From the opening Daytona 500 where we had an accident, our season to date has not gone the way we had anticipated. We've had our share of problems, but on the other hand, it seemed that every time we had a strong performance going something would step up and bite us that was completely out of our control."

The last three Sprint Cup races have been a nightmare of sorts for Smith. He had a flat tire with fewer than 10 laps remaining in Michigan on June 17. The following week in Sonoma, Calif., he was involved in a final-lap multicar wreck. And it didn't get any better last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, where Smith's car slammed hard into the concrete wall after hitting a puddle of oil on the track, dumped by another car's blown engine. 

Barring any mistakes, accidents or malfunctions, Smith knows that his No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet will be competitive on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.  He has proved that the team's superspeedway program is capable of running for the win. At this year's 150-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500, Smith finished second. 

"We've had some strong performances in Daytona," noted Smith. "It's the same old story -- you need to avoid the wrecks and be in the lead draft at the end. We have the potential of running up front, but avoiding wrecks is nothing but a crap shoot."

Smith's best finish at the famed 2.5-mile oval was seventh in the 2011 Daytona 500. He also had a 12th-place result in July 2009. At this year's Daytona 500, Smith ran a strong race until he got caught up in a multicar wreck that relegated him to a 24th-place finish. 

Smith's Daytona International Speedway
Sprint Cup Results :

    ST FN  
  02/17/08 29 37  
  07/05/08 8 24  
  02/15/09 42 21  
  07/04/09 43 12  
  02/14/10 11 39  
  07/03/10 31 33  
  02/20/11 5 7  
  07/02/11 28 24  
  02/26/12 6 24  


Smith’s 2012 Results

Date Event St Fn Laps Status Prize
02/27 Daytona 500 6 24 200/202 Running 357,034 21 23
03/04 Phoenix 3 20 311/312 Running 93,483 24/45 19
03/11 Las Vegas 28 15 267/267 Running 129,413 29/74 20
03/18 Bristol 6 24 496/500 Running 111,343 20/94 20
03/25 Fontana 22 20 128/129 Running 114,163 24/118 19
04/01 Martinsville 17 16 513/515 Running 106,343 28/146 18
04/14 Texas 26 23 332/334 Running 130,238 21/167 21
04/22 Kansas 29 24 263/267 Running 103,443 20/187 22
04/28 Richmond 15 27 398/400 Running 95,968 17/204 25
05/06 Talladega 31 40 15/194 Engine 87,275 4/208 27
05/12 Darlington 9 14 368/368 Running 117,488 30/238 26
05/27 Charlotte 10 17 398/400 Running 128,488 27/265 23
06/03 Dover 26 27 306/400 Running 103,702 17/282 25
06/10 Pocono 7 16 160/160 Running 101,393 28/310 24
06/17 Michigan 12 28 197/200 Running 87,160 16/326 25
06/24 Sonoma 31 32 109/112 Running 84,960 12/338 25
06/30 Kentucky 26 33 209/267 Accident 81,010 11/349 26

Avg. Start: 17.882
Avg. Finish: 23.529
Money: $2,032,904


No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew

Front-tire changer: Shane Pipala, Frankfort Square, IL
Front-tire carrier: Jon Bernal, Holland, Mich.
Rear-tire changer: Coleman Dollarhide, Hickory, N.C.
Rear-tire carrier: Dwayne Moore, Griffin, Ga.
Jackman: Gabe Martin, Lake Wylie, S.C.
Gasman: Justin White, Lynnville, Tenn.
2nd Gasman: Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn. 
7th Man/Windshield: Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif. 


No. 78 Road Crew

  Crew Chief: Pete Rondeau, Saco, Maine  
  Competition Director: Mark McArdle, La Crosse, Wis.   
  Car Chief: Robert Huffman, Hickory, N.C.   
  Engineers: Phil Jiminez, Germantown, Tenn.  
    Matt Faulkner, Memphis, Tenn.   
  Spotters: Rick Carelli, Arvada, Colo.    
    Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C.  
  Engine Specialist: Scott Meesters, Hanford, Calif.   
  Engine Builder: Earnhardt-Childress Racing  
  Shock Specialist: Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio  
  Tire Specialist: Chad Krauch, Loveland, Colo.  
  Technical Support: Michael McCullough, Imperial, Calif.   
  Mechanics: Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn.   
    Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif.   
    Joe Kerrigan, Canon City, Colo.   
  Transportation: Henry Benfield (also gas runner), Statesville, N.C.    
    Jim Gilbert, Belleville, IL  
    Dave Hicks, Montcalm, WVa.   
    Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL  
    John Slingerland, Sacramento, Calif.   
    Dennis Valverde, Albuquerque, N.M.