Smith Finishes 16th in Pocono

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Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Sunday, 10 June 2012 19:05
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There were no high-fives or back- slapping in the Furniture Row Racing camp after Regan Smith posted a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race. 

"Simply put we should have had a better finish and I think we're all feeling a little disappointed because we had higher expectations for this week and didn't deliver," said Smith, who qualified seventh. "On the positive side, it's a whole lot better than what happened to us last week in Dover when we were involved in a multicar accident before the race was 10 laps old." 

Smith ran in the top-20 for virtually the entire 160-lap, 400-mile race that was contested on Pocono Raceway's newly-paved asphalt. The final result was Smith's seventh top-20 of the season and his third in the last four races. He gained one spot in the point standings and currently sits in 24th place. 

"Finishing 16th didn't come easy by any means," noted Smith. "The car's handling fell off towards the end of the race and it was difficult to drive, especially in the tunnel turn."

Smith made his final pit stop on Lap 149, and when the race was restarted for the final time with eight laps remaining, he was positioned in 22nd place.  The pit road adjustments helped as Smith kicked it up a notch in the stretch run to gain six positions in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet. 

"It was nice to get those extra positions and the points that come with it," stated Smith. "But we were all looking for more.  At least our recent finishes, except for what happened in Dover, are in the respectable range."

Smith had a scare with approximately 40 laps to go when the shifter ball broke in his Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet, but the issue was quickly taken care of, thanks to quick thinking by crew chief Pete Rondeau. 

The Pocono 400 race winner was Joey Logano. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray.

The race had 21 lead changes among 10 drivers and seven cautions for 35 laps. 

The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday (June 17) at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. 


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Steven B. Wilson

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