Smith's Third-Place Finish Leads Team JRM At Talladega

Regan Smith muscled his way to a third-place finish for the Ragu team in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. The effort marked Smith’s second top-five of the season and continues his streak of top-10 finishes.
Dealing with a starting spot deep in the field, Smith patiently settled into the draft and methodically marched forward. By lap 49, the No. 7 was scored in 14th and seven laps later Smith found the sixth position.

Smith took the lead just prior to the race’s fourth caution slowing the field. Once back to green-flag racing, the No. 7 maintained the top spot for the next 20 laps until Smith was shuffled out of the lead and forced into the middle groove where he fell several positions.

A caution on lap 113 set the field for a dramatic three-lap dash to the finish. Smith took the restart in fourth and was glued to the 60 car of Chris Buescher in an attempt to push the rookie to the lead. With help from Smith, Buescher pressured leader Elliott Sadler throughout the final circuit. The two-wide draft kept Smith pinned behind the 60, where he took the checkered flag in third.

Sadler won the race with Buescher, Smith, David Ragan and Sam Hornish Jr. rounding out the top-five finishers.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Ragu team

“We had a strong Ragu Chevy today. I made one bad move there toward the end with about 12 laps to go and tried to get to the outside in front of the 9 car. He had too much of a run and I made my move too late and got choked down there and went through the middle. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because I was able to get in the proper position for the next restart, which got us up to fourth.

“We worked hard all day just couldn’t do too much. If I ever could have gotten clear on the 60, I could have tried to make my move. Proud of the team and the cars they keep bringing. I’m disappointed we couldn’t keep the JR Motorsports win streak alive, but there are a lot of races left.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
ToyotaCare 250

  Start 32nd
  Finish 3rd
  Laps Completed (Led) 117 of 117 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 42 (1)
  Standings (From Leader) 3rd (-3)
  Condition (Status) Running