Smith Nabs Top-10 At Fontana

Regan Smith and the No. 7 Best Foods crew again proved resilient in Saturday’s 300 at Auto Club Speedway, battling back to score a 10th-place finish. The effort gives the team its fifth top 10 in as many races this season.

Debuting the Best Foods brand on the No. 7 Chevrolet, Smith started 11th but drifted into a spot just inside the top 15 by lap 35. Facing a tight condition early on, Smith moved his line around in search of improved handing. The effort didn’t help matters, as the car went from tight to loose while Smith was running the bottom groove.

Shortly after falling a lap down, Smith and the Best Foods team caught a huge break with a caution on lap 68, which gave the team the “lucky dog” award, ushering them back on the lead lap. A reason for the handling issues on the No. 7 was later evident when the team learned it had an equalized tire.

After pitting for fresh rubber and several chassis adjustments through its stops, Smith saw methodical improvements on the racetrack, finding 11th by lap 120. Then following the race’s final restart on lap 134, Smith engaged in white-knuckle, door-to-door racing with the 6 of Trevor Bayne and the 3 of Ty Dillon. He muscled his way to ninth, but relinquished the spot in final laps to finish 10th.

Smith is now tied with Trevor Bayne for the Nationwide Series point lead.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Best Foods team

“We had a tough day with the 7 car. Never had the handle all weekend, really. We had a lot of the same issues in the race that we had in practice. It was a very disappointing day and a very tough pill to swallow. These past four weeks have been rough to handle. We expect more out of ourselves, we expect more out of our team and we expect more out of what we’ve been doing. We’re going to keep working at it and keep trying to figure out what combination it’s going to take for us to get better and run with our teammates and run for wins the rest of the year.”

Regan Smith Race Report: 300

  Start 11th
  Finish 10th
  Laps Completed (Led) 150 of 150 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 34 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 1st (tie)
  Condition (Status) Running