Smith Rallies To Top-5 Finish In Charlotte

Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a team effort, and Regan Smith’s fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was definitely a team effort. After spending the first 110 laps of the event battling a handling issue on the Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup Chevrolet, it all fell into place on the track and especially on pit road.

Smith rallied to finish fourth on the day, which qualified him for the XFINITY Dash4Cash program and the chance to win $100,000 next week at Dover International Speedway. Smith was the top-finishing NASCAR XFINITY Series regular, and will battle with Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon for the prize.

After pitting under green at lap 101, crew chief Jason Burdett dialed in chassis and air-pressure adjustments to make the Camaro handle better. On lap 111, the caution waved, and Smith, running 13th, returned to pit road for more of the same. The JR Motorsports pit crew got four tires, fuel and adjustments finished in 11.7 seconds, and he returned to the track in seventh place.

After holding serve with the improving handling on his Chevrolet, the final caution of the race waved on lap 160 and Smith returned to pit lane for his final set of tires and more adjustments. This time, it was 10.8 seconds, and he restarted the race in third place.

From there, he battled with eventual race winner Austin Dillon, runner-up Denny Hamlin and JR Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne for the race lead, holding off a fast-closing Wallace Jr. over the final 34 laps to earn his fourth top-five and eighth top-10 finish of the season. With the finish, he gained seven points on leader Chris Buescher, sitting 41 out of the lead in fifth after 11 races. 

Austin Dillon won the race over Hamlin, Kahne, Smith and Wallace. JRM’s Chase Elliott finished eighth, and Kevin Harvick brought his JRM Chevrolet home in the 14th position.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup team

“We had to earn this one today. Our Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup Chevrolet wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be all day, and the farther we got back in the pack the worse it was. We missed something in the front-end setup, and we were doing the best we could with what we had. Jason [crew chief Jason Burdett] and the crew worked real hard to get what we could out of it. What saved our butts today was the pit crew. I have to thank them. They had unbelievable stops and now I get to run for some of XFINITY’s cash next Saturday. That’ll be nice. It’s always a cool program, you always want to be a part of it and you want to try to win them all. We’ll take this and say, ‘OK, we snuck away with one today.’ The record books don’t show how you did it, just that you did. The pit crew was just phenomenal. I think we got six positions twice in a row. You just don’t do that these days. Everybody has good pit crews, and that was special. If you had asked me at the beginning of the race if I would take fourth, I’d have said absolutely. I thought we were going to be 24th, not fourth. We’ll take this and go to Dover next week and try to win some of XFINITY’s money.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Hisense 300

  Start 15th
  Finish 4th
  Laps Completed (Led) 200 of 200 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 40 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 5th (-41)
  Condition (Status) Running