Last Lap Crash Spoils Great Day for Smith and Team JRM

The JR Motorsports contingent was back in full force with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith all leading laps in Saturday’s Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Setting the pace for the three-car team was Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet with a fourth-place finish. But it was Smith stole the show in the No. 7 Clean Coal Chevrolet by leading a race-high 23 laps in the race’s closing stages.

Smith’s strong showing began with adversity. After being spun out on lap 31, he battled back from the 32nd position and wasted no time driving to the front of the field. He patiently settled in, and after surging through the pack, found the lead on lap 69. Smith maintained a hold among the leaders and led the field to the green-white-checkered restart. With a push from Brad Keselowski in the No. 22, the two-car tandem broke free of the pack with half a lap remaining in the race. The two rumbled off turn four within sight of the checkered flag, and when Smith moved high to protect his position, the resulting contact with the 22 initiated a multi-car accident that sprayed debris into the front stretch grandstands. Smith was relegated to a 14th-place finish.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Clean Coal team
“First and foremost, I hope everybody up in the stands is okay. I see there is some debris up there. That’s the first concern.

“We were just racing hard for the win with the Clean Coal Chevy. It was a typical Daytona wild finish. I put a block on Brad (Keselowski) because I knew he was going to make a move. Our car was good with him pushing and we were able to clear the traffic like we needed to there on that last lap. When you can see the finish line you want to go for the win at Daytona every time. That’s what we were going for.”

Regan Smith Race Report: DRIVE4COPD 300

  Start 4th
  Finish 14th
  Laps Completed (Led) 120 of 120 (23)
  Points (Bonus) 32 (2)
  Standings (From Leader) 11th (-10)
  Condition (Status) Extensive Damage