Adversity in Chicagoland for Smith

Regan Smith and the No. 7 Clean Coal team faced a race of adversity, and nearly overcame it, until a late-race spin after contact from the 31 car relegated them to a 13th-place finish. Early on, Smith patiently settled in and found a position among the top 10 by lap 35. When the 7 team attempted to hit pit road for a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 81, their pit box was blocked by a stalled competitor. As a result, Smith stayed on the track and the extra lap exhausted the car of fuel. Smith then coasted to pit lane, but not before giving up several positions. When he emerged back on the track, Smith was in 17th and down a lap.

The team kept its poise and Smith earned the lap back under caution by way of a wave around. Once back to green-flag racing the 7 began a steady climb to the top 10, which was rooted in stellar restarts by Smith. On lap 183 and with Smith vying for the eighth position, the 31 of Justin Allgaier made contact with the outside wall off of turn two and shot directly into the side of the 7 car. The abrupt contact sent Smith spinning to the inside of the track. With minimal damage, the team hit pit road to change tires and Smith restarted in 18th. He managed to break back inside the top-15 and found the 13th position prior to the checkered flag.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Clean Coal team

“Man, it was just a frustrating day for our Clean Coal team. We struggled from the beginning, but Greg and the guys kept after the car with adjustments on pit road. At times it was better, and sometimes it wasn’t. The car was pretty inconsistent for most of the day, which can really create problems. Still we were in position to land another top 10 but the 31 got into us and that pretty much ended our chances. The guys worked hard all weekend and we’ll move onto Kentucky and get things back on track there.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Dollar General 300

  Start 16th
  Finish 13th
  Laps Completed (Led) 200 of 200 (26)
  Points (Bonus) 31 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 3rd (-36)
  Condition (Status) Running