Smith Garners Top-10 In Talladega

Racing at Talladega Superspeedway doesn’t always mean the best car wins. It’s a combination of luck, circumstances and where you are when the chips fall that determines how you finish. Regan Smith had one of the fastest cars on the track in his Hellmann’s Chevrolet, but when push came to shove in the final run to the checkered flag on Saturday, he ended up ninth in the Winn-Dixie 300.

Smith restarted fifth with eight laps remaining in the race and was on the inside line. As the laps wound down, the usual pushing and bump-drafting broke out all over the track and when it was over, Smith had lost four spots.
Smith overcame a lot during the 113-lap race, including a damaged right-rear fender and bumper in a lap-one crash that caught up several of the top runners and a penalty for pitting too early when a crash happened around his lead group that had broken off to go to pit lane.  The ninth-place run was his seventh top-10 finish in nine races, and it allowed him to maintain fifth place in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver point standings.

Smith spent the majority of the race riding the draft near the front of the pack, detouring only after the lap-one crash and again after the lap-73 crash coming to pit road, both of which he neatly avoided. Working with spotter T.J. Majors, Smith charged back to contention each time.

Joey Logano won the race, followed closely by Brian Scott, Austin Dillon, J.J. Yeley and Joey Gase. JRM’s Kasey Kahne wound up 33rd and Chase Elliott 39th after crashing out of the event.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Hellmann’s team
“We had a car capable of winning the race today. It was a new car that Jason and the guys had built for this race, and we were doing what we needed to do to stay up front. The Hellmann’s Chevrolet was fast and we were doing a good job staying out of trouble, but at the end, the pushing and shoving that you see all the time at Talladega cost us some spots. It was unfortunate and we had a good chance at making up even more points, but it wasn’t to be. It was a top-10 finish, but we could have had a lot more.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Winn-Dixie 300

  Start 11th
  Finish 9th
  Laps Completed (Led) 113 of 113 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 35 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 5th (-43)
  Condition (Status) Running