Uncharacteristic Ending In Iowa For Smith

Regan Smith concluded Sunday’s 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway with an 11th-place finish in the No. 7 NAPA Synthetic Motor Oil Chevrolet.  For a weekend that began with such promise, it was a disappointing and uncharacteristic ending for Smith and the 7 team. 

After starting the day in seventh, the early stages of the race showed Smith as one of the few competitors who could carry speed on the bottom of the track.  The team seemed poised for a strong showing over long green-flag runs.  But following the competition caution on lap 60, it became clear the team was battling negative handling characteristics.  The No. 7 NAPA Synthetic Motor Oil Chevy would only run as high as seventh before fading to 10th while the team attempted to alleviate the handling issues with several calls for chassis adjustments through its pit stops.  Smith stayed the course but still drifted to 12th by lap 150 as a result. 

With the final caution waving on lap 248, Smith, now running in 11th, seized the opportunity to bring the No. 7 to pit road for a two-tire stop.  He lined up in seventh for the ensuing green-white-checkered restart.  When the field rumbled back to life, the No. 7 sputtered due to a fuel issue.  The issue forced the team to give up several position in the closing laps and come home 11th. 

Chris Buescher won the race.  He was followed to the line by Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 NAPA Synthetic Motor Oil team
“This was a tough day for the 7 team.  We had such a strong car during practice and we really felt that over the long run, we were going to be one of the teams to beat today.  But we struggled from the very beginning.  We’re all disappointed with the results.  We could never get a handle on the car for the entire day.  It started off really loose then went tight there at the end.  And not enough fuel on the last restart, the engine stumbled all the way to turn one. I wasn't expecting that. Added to a long frustrating day.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
3M 250

  Start 7th
  Finish 11th
  Laps Completed (Led) 259 of 259 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 33 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 6th (-48)
  Condition (Status) Running