Smith Relegated to 13th Place Finish By Debris

Regan Smith saw another strong road course effort fade in the late stages of Saturday’s Gardner Denver 200 at Road America, leaving the team to salvage a 13th-place finish. From the race’s onset, Smith had his sights on the lead, finding the second position by the fifth lap and holding the position until lap 25.

When rain began to fall around the track at the halfway mark of the race, bringing out a caution flag, NASCAR mandated all competitors switch to rain tires. Under the ensuing stop, a slight mishap on pit road dropped the 7 team to seventh for the restart. Following the switch to rain tires, Smith patiently navigated the slippery course while holding onto a top-10 spot.

With only seven laps remaining, Smith radioed the crew that his water temperature had reached a critical point, after debris clogged the grille opening on the Chevy. Smith was forced onto pit road for an unscheduled green-flag pit stop, which dropped the team from 10th to 18th.

Once back on the track, Smith and the No. 7 team still managed to gain five positions and finish 13th. The effort helped Smith retain the NNS championship points lead.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 team

“We were fast all weekend with the TaxSlayer Chevy. Ryan and all the guys did a tremendous job. In dry conditions we had it figured out and definitely had a car capable of winning. But once things started getting wet, it got pretty crazy. Guys were slipping and sliding around, and you had to worry as much about them as you did about yourself. Once we got debris on the grille that was pretty much it. We just didn’t have enough time to rebound from that. I’m not thrilled with the finish because that’s really not comparable to where we ran all day. We’ll just move on to Kentucky next weekend.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Gardner Denver 200

  Start 3rd
  Finish 13th
  Laps Completed (Led) 53 of 53 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 31 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 1st (+10)
  Condition (Status) Running