Time Not On Smith’s Side in Michigan

Regan Smith ended Saturday’s Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway with an 11th-place showing.  It was a disappointing finish for the Suave Men team, who spent much of the day racing among the top 10. 

From the outset of the race, Smith and the No. 7 team wrestled with a loose condition on their Chevrolet.  The team worked to seventh before a competition caution flew on lap 25 and brought Smith to pit road.  After a strategic call for two right-side tires, Smith pulled out of the pit stall and into heavy traffic, which resulted in contact with the No. 90 of Martin Roy.  The damage was minimal, but crew chief Jason Burdett took the cautionary measure of bringing Smith back down pit road to assess the damage and take on two left-side tires. 

When the field returned to racing, Smith wasted little time climbing back inside the top 10 from the 22nd spot, even driving to fourth as green-flag pit stops cycled through.  In an impressive restart on lap 96, Smith made a brazen move to the outside and took away the third position, a race high for the No. 7. 

But as the race wore on, handling deteriorated and the loose condition on the Suave Men Chevy dropped the team outside the top 10.  The team salvaged an 11th-place finish by the time they took the checkered flag.

Kyle Busch won the race and was followed across the line by JRM teammate Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher and Elliott Sadler.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Suave Men team
“It was a frustrating day for the Suave Men team.  We felt like we had a solid car for the race today, but the longer we ran, the harder it was to get a handle on it.  It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort.  Jason [Burdett, crew chief] and the guys did a great job, just collectively we need to do better and get the finishes we’re capable of.  We’ll focus on doing that for Chicagoland next week.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Great Clips 250

  Start 8th
  Finish 11th
  Laps Completed (Led) 125 of 125 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 33 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 4th (-55)
  Condition (Status) Running