Top-10 Still Seems Short for Smith

Twice before this season, Regan Smith entered an XFINITY Dash4Cash race with a chance at $100,000 and brought home the big check. On Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, he came up four spots short of doing it for a third time.
Smith finished ninth in the maiden voyage for sponsor Dale’s Pale Ale, his 15th top-10 finish of the season, thanks to a late-race caution that made it possible for him to gain three spots over the final two laps.

NASCAR XFINITY Series point leader Chris Buescher tried to stretch his fuel to the checkered and came up a couple of laps short, but managed to finish 11th. That meant that Smith did not pick up any points on the leader, who led 106 of the 302 laps, and trails by 51 points heading into the final road-course race of the season next weekend at Road America.

The tricky concrete of Bristol’s .533-mile high-banked oval proved difficult for Smith to navigate early on, as a loose condition morphed into a tight condition, sometimes in the same turn. Crew chief Jason Burdett made several changes, but nothing fixed both problems to the point where it meant spots on the track.

Smith battled in the top 10 for most of the race, but a pit stop to solve a handling problem dropped him into the mid-teens, and he spent the remainder of the race making up spots.

Kyle Busch won the race, taking over the lead when Buescher ran out of gas on lap 300. Kyle Larson was second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez. Suarez was the winner of the Dash4Cash bonus. JRM teammates Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Dale’s Pale Ale team
"We were excited to get another chance at the XFINITY Dash4Cash tonight, with Dale’s Pale Ale on the car, and we came up a few spots short of making it three for three. We were a little off on the setup from the get-go, but we threw a lot of stuff at it and got it closer, just not close enough. On the last restart, I got away well and made up three spots, and that’s another top 10 for the 7 team. We’ll regroup and go to Road America next week with an eye on making up points and winning that race.”

Regan Smith Race Report:
Food City 300

  Start 12th
  Finish 9th
  Laps Completed (Led) 302 of 302 (0)
  Points (Bonus) 35 (0)
  Standings (From Leader) 4th (-51)
  Condition (Status) Running