Smith Retains Points Lead After Top-10 Bristol Finish

Regan Smith concluded Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway with a hard-fought 10th-place finish. In the race’s early going, Smith took his seventh-place starting position with the No. 7 Chevrolet and immediately began a climb forward, sliding into the top five following the race’s first caution.

Around the lap-100 mark, with Smith occupying the fourth spot, he radioed the crew of a tight condition on the No. 7. The team made various adjustments over the course of its pit stops, but with conditions going from tight to loose and back to tight again, it proved to be a difficult task to master.

With handling characteristics deteriorating, Smith slipped outside the top five by lap 165 and eventually to 10th prior to the checkered flag.

The effort netted Smith and the No. 7 team its fourth consecutive top-10 finish on the season. He still holds the Nationwide Series points lead by one marker over Trevor Bayne.

Kyle Larson, JRM teammate Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five finishers.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 team

“Wasn’t really the day we were hoping for with our Chevy. Things started off well, and after that first caution, everyone settled into a long green-flag run and the car really came in. We were pretty decent then. It got much tighter in the middle later on and we struggled getting grip out of the right rear. That didn’t help things at all. So we adjusted for that and then it went loose. When a lot of those guys moved up to run the top, we weren’t able to do it because we were so loose. It really hurt us getting into the corner."

“Looking back on it, I think we just over adjusted on it. That happens sometimes and as frustrating as it can be, the guys did a great job all weekend. Nobody on this team wants to run 10th. But all things considered, when you’re still able to get top-10s on days when you’re struggling, it’s not such a bad thing.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Drive to Stop Diabetes 300

  Start 7th
  Finish 10th
  Laps Completed (Led) 300 of 300 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 34 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 1st (+1)
  Condition (Status) Running