Smith Takes Top-10 Finish Despite Phoenix Rain

Regan Smith and the No. 7 TaxSlayer.com team raced to an eighth-place finish in Saturday’s rain-shortened Blue Jeans Go Green 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Following his victory at Daytona last week, the eighth-place effort gives Smith two consecutive top-10 finishes to start the season.

Smith’s race began with a tight condition on the No. 7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet which made transitioning through the corner a challenge. The team took its first opportunity to make adjustments on pit road under the race’s first caution on lap 21. The call to pit road relegated Smith to a 22nd-place restart.

Smith began a steady climb toward the top 10, finding 13th before green-flag pit stops brought the rest of the field to pit road. He cycled as high as second before another caution slowed the pack on lap 91. Smith again hit pit road and took the ensuing restart in sixth. He maintained the position for a time, but with a persistent tight condition, dropped two more spots to eighth prior to a red-flag period for rain on lap 168.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 TaxSlayer.com team

“You can’t win the championship in the first five races of the year, but with our points’ system, you surely can lose it. We struggled from start to finish. We were real happy with our TaxSlayer.com Chevy at the end of practice yesterday and we really didn’t change anything. Right from the drop of the green flag, we just didn’t go forward like we typically do. Not sure why. But we’re going to work hard to figure it out.

“Fortunately, JRM teammate Kevin Harvick had a really strong day, so as a company, we have some good notes to look at from him and we’ll come back here strong in the fall.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Blue Jeans Go Gree 200

  Start 8th
  Finish 8th
  Laps Completed (Led) 168 of 200 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 36 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 1st (+5)
  Condition (Status) Running