Smith Keeps Rolling Along

Regan Smith

"I like the California track, we had two strong runs there in 2010." (Photo: Getty Images)

Regan Smith has been an early season surprise this NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and he continued his impressive run with another strong qualifying performance for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.

Smith will take the green flag in the fourth starting spot in the fifth race of the season and is hoping to turn that into a good finish at what he calls one of his favorite tracks on the schedule.

“I like the California track, we had two strong runs there in 2010,” said Smith. “Our 12th-place finish in the fall was the catalyst in getting us to a new level of competition.”

His qualifying effort on Friday marked the fourth time in the year’s first five events Smith has been able to secure a starting berth inside the first five. The only race Smith did not qualifying inside the first five was Las Vegas.

“Kudos to our crew chief Pete Rondeau and the entire team,” Smith said after Friday’s run. “We made a huge recovery from practice. We like this track and it’s time to capitalize on our qualifying efforts. Our next step is to work on the car during Saturday’s race trim practices and get our Furniture Row Chevrolet dialed in for Sunday.”

Smith is looking to turn around the team’s fortunes on intermediate-sized tracks wh ich as last month in Vegas at times have proven somewhat difficult to master for the upstart team. The two-mile Auto Club Speedway presents the next challenge for Smith to overcome but he’s confident about his chances in Sunday’s race.

“We've done well on the 1.5 and 2-mile tracks in the past so that is also encouraging for our Furniture Row team this weekend,” Smith said. “We didn't take advantage at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track this year due to an engine failure.

“But our Furniture Row Chevrolet has been fast almost every place we've been and I see no reason why it can't continue in Fontana. It's our type of track.”

Qualifying has been a strong point for Smith who knows the team needs to take advantage of those solid starting positions with better finishes to show for the effort.

“We did OK at Bristol, but are still in a rebound mode after taking a major hit in Phoenix (accident) and Vegas (engine),” Smith said. “We need to put a nice streak together, which we are more than capable of doing."

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Regan Smith

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