Tricky Track Leaves Smith With Top-10 Finish

Regan Smith drove the No. 7 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The result marked his 11th top-10 finish in 17 races with JRM in 2015.

After Smith’s steady day, he was back in possession of fourth place in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings. Starting eighth, Smith ran in or close to the top 10 all day long, and was the top-finishing JR Motorsports team in the event.

Smith almost immediately reported that his Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevy was hard to handle due to the bumps the track offered. After a series of early cautions, Smith relayed back to his team that he was dealing with a tight condition and a persistent bounce in the front of his machine. The violent ride continued through the early part of the race, especially when Smith would apply the brakes. A lap-37 caution brought him down pit road where he gained four tires and a wedge adjustment. Most of his peers took two tires on the stop, knocking Smith out of the top-10 for the first time on the day. As the day progressed, the problems on the front end and with the braking remained, especially on entry. Smith’s battle wore on and he gained his top-10 position back on lap 70.

The pogo stick that was New Hampshire Motor Speedway continued to clash with Smith and as the Anderson Maple’s Syrup team made a green flag pit stop on lap 121, it was time to make a run. After taking four tires and fuel on pit road, Smith found himself in 11th after the pit stop cycle finished. With 60 laps to go, Smith shot into the top-10 once again but was still tangling with the bumps as well as a newly found loose condition. The bounce the track caused was a problem until Smith found a quick fix with 40 laps to go. Applying the front brake controlled the bounce more than anything else had all day. That revelation and Smith’s rhythm allowed him to stay steady with his lap times. His persistence and perseverance helped launch Smith into his seventh-place finish with no real pressure after the final caution of the day.

Denny Hamlin won the race, followed by Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and NXS rookie Daniel Suarez. Ty Dillon was sixth, ahead of Smith, Darrell Wallace Jr., JRM teammate Chase Elliott and Brennan Poole. JRM’s Ben Rhodes was 12th, the first car one lap down.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Anderson’s Maple Syrup team
“We had a solid day in the Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet. The pit crew guys were great, had some good stops today. I want to thank my team for all the hard work this weekend. Not a bad finish, we just have to keep digging to see how we can get these cars to where we want them to be. I really felt like we left two points on the board there with the No. 3 and No. 18 finishing ahead of us but overall, it was a good day. We just have to build off of this.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Lakes Region 200

  Start 8th
  Finish 7th
  Laps Completed (Led) 200 of 200 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 37 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 4th (-59)
  Condition (Status) Running