Consistency Continues For Smith At Texas

Regan Smith took his best qualifying effort of the season and leveraged it into a seventh-place finish in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Smith showed a strong hand in the No. 7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet from the outset of the race, pressuring leader Kevin Harvick in the opening laps. Soon after, Smith patiently settled into a long green-flag run and occupied a spot among the top-five until lap 40.

The TaxSlayer team never fell lower than seventh, as crew chief Ryan Pemberton made calls to help alleviate a loose condition at the halfway point. The race’s final caution flag flew on lap 170, with Smith lining up in sixth for the ensuing restart. After intense three-wide racing, Smith was shuffled back to eighth. He then mounted a steady charge, but with laps dwindling he could only regain a single position to finish seventh. The finish marked his sixth consecutive top-10 finish to open the season.

Smith’s rookie teammate Chase Elliott went on to secure the victory. He was followed to the line by Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and JRM teammates Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The effort capped an impressive outing by JRM’s four-car team. All four of its team cars finished inside the top-10 and combined to lead 154 of the race’s 200 laps.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 TaxSlayer.com team

“It’s awesome for Chase. Such a huge night for him and all our partners at JR Motorsports - TaxSlayer on our car and NAPA on his car. I’m proud of him. He’s shown how great a racecar driver he is already in his short career. I’d say that’s the guy we’re going to have to battle for the championship all year long.”

“It was a good night for us. The last restart wasn’t what we needed, got caught three wide there and lost a bunch of spots. By the time we starting to fight back and click them back off, it was too late and there wasn’t enough racing left. I’m proud of my guys on this TaxSlayer team. We struggled a little but rebounded here. We’ll go on and go to Darlington.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
O'Reilly Auto Parts 300

  Start 3rd
  Finish 7th
  Laps Completed (Led) 200 of 200 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 37 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 2nd (-2)
  Condition (Status) Running