Recent performance boosts Regan Smith’s confidence level for Pocono weekend

DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 1, 2012) — Regan Smith’s Indianapolis performance (not the result) has the Furniture Row Racing driver feeling upbeat about this Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

“Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway are similar and if we can put another fast car on the track then we will be in position to have one of our best weekends of the season,” said Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet.

Smith almost had his best weekend of 2012 in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. He ran in the top-10 for nearly the first 100 laps. But as he was looking to make a pass for the lead on Lap 100 of 160, his car made contact with another car, suffering left front-end damage and dashing any hopes of a stellar finish. His handicapped car took the checkered flag with an 18th-place result.

“The Indy finish was disappointing, but the silver lining was that we had a fast car,” explained Smith. “We’ve been struggling for speed this season, but based on Indy I am pumped to be going to Pocono. Indy has given us a strong baseline setup for Pocono, which makes the confidence level rise a few notches.”

Though Pocono and Indy are both 2.5-mile tracks with a little banking, Smith says he has all the confidence in new crew chief Todd Berrier to make the necessary tweaks to the No. 78 Chevy. The Pennsylvania 400 will be Berrier’s second race since joining Furniture Row Racing.

“Todd has the experience and his intensity level to make the car better is very cool,” stated Smith. “He has a lot of ideas right now and I like his confidence. I feel comfortable around Todd and also feel like we’ve been working together for a long time.”

In the June race at Pocono, Smith attacked the newly-paved Pocono Raceway surface. He qualified seventh and fought hard to finish 16th.

“I enjoy racing at Pocono, it’s a unique track — I guess that’s why they call it the tricky triangle,” noted Smith. “We have the potential to start turning things around this weekend. A performance like we had at Indy without any hiccups would be the right formula for our Furniture Row Racing team.”

Berrier echoes many of the Smith’s feelings.

“It’s been a smooth transition and I like everyone’s intensity level,” said Berrier. “We had a good start at Indy, but it wasn’t perfect. But I do get the feeling that we’re all on the same page and that’s a major first step when change takes place. The potential is there to get those top-10 or better finishes.”

Smith’s Pocono Raceway Sprint Cup Results

St Fn 2008 4 28 36 25

2009 42 33 (June race)

2010 24 18 34 21

2011 5 15 17 21

2012 7 16

Smith’s 2012 Results

Date

Event

St

Fn

Laps

Status Prize Money Driver Points

Standing 2/27 Daytona 500 6 24 200/202 Running 357,034 21 23 3/4 Phoenix 3 20 311/312 Running 93,483 24/45 19 3/11 Las Vegas 28 15 267/267 Running 129,413 29/74 20 3/18 Bristol 6 24 496/500 Running 111,343 20/94 20 3/25 Fontana 22 20 128/129 Running 114,163 24/118 19 4/1 Martinsville 17 16 513/515 Running 106,343 28/146 18 4/14 Texas 26 23 332/334 Running 130,238 21/167 21 4/22 Kansas 29 24 263/267 Running 103,443 20/187 22 4/28 Richmond 15 27 398/400 Running 95,968 17/204 25 5/6 Talladega 31 40 15/194 Engine 87,275 4/208 27 5/12 Darlington 9 14 368/368 Running 117,488 30/238 26 5/27 Charlotte 10 17 398/400 Running 128,488 27/265 23 6/3 Dover 26 27 306/400 Running 103,702 17/282 25 6/10 Pocono 7 16 160/160 Running 101,393 28/310 24 6/17 Michigan 12 28 197/200 Running 87,160 16/326 25 6/24 Sonoma 31 32 109/112 Running 84,960 12/338 25 6/30 Kentucky 26 33 209/267 Accident 81,010 11/349 26 7/7 Daytona 25 34 133/160 Accident 96,555 10/359 26 7/15 Loudon 17 26 298/301 Running 100,818 18/377 26 7/29 Indianapolis 14 18 160/160 Running 180,483 26/403 24

Avg. Start: 18.000 Avg. Finish: 23.900 Money: $2,410,760

No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew Front-tire changer Shane Pipala, Frankfort Square, IL Front-tire carrier Jon Bernal, Holland, Mich. Rear-tire changer Coleman Dollarhide, Hickory, N.C. Rear-tire carrier: Dwayne Moore, Griffin, Ga. Jackman Gabe Martin, Lake Wylie, S.C. Gasman Justin White, Lynnville, Tenn. 2nd Gasman Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn. 7th Man/Windshield Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif. _____________________________________________

No. 78 Road Crew Crew Chief Todd Berrier, Kernersville, N.C. Competition Director Mark McArdle, La Crosse, Wis. Car Chief Robert Huffman, Hickory, N.C. Engineers Cole Pearn, London, Ontario Matt Faulkner, Memphis, Tenn. Spotters Rick Carelli, Arvada, Colo. Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C. Engine Specialist Scott Meesters, Hanford, Calif. Engine Builder Earnhardt-Childress Racing Shock Specialist Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio Tire Specialist Chad Krauch, Loveland, Colo. Technical Support Michael McCullough, Imperial, Calif. Mechanics Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn. Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif. Joe Kerrigan, Canon City, Colo. Transportation Henry Benfield (also gas runner), Statesville, N.C. Jim Gilbert, Belleville, IL Dave Hicks, Montcalm, WVa. Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL John Slingerland, Sacramento, Calif. Dennis Valverde, Albuquerque, N.M.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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