Talladega: Brad Smith race report

SMITH FINDS TRACTION -AND LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL-- AT TALLADEGA. --22-year ARCA Veteran Shakes The Monkey Off His Back (Hopefully Ending The Rut) Corydon, Indiana - Pedaling longer and faster than any race so far this season, ARCA's Brad...

SMITH FINDS TRACTION -AND LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL-- AT TALLADEGA.
--22-year ARCA Veteran Shakes The Monkey Off His Back (Hopefully Ending The Rut)

Corydon, Indiana - Pedaling longer and faster than any race so far this season, ARCA's Brad Smith, driver of ApplianceZone.com Racing's #26 Ford, elbowed his way up from a 36th provisional start position to 20th then finished in 22nd place during the Talladega ARCA 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Finishing mid-pack was a significant improvement for this 22-year veteran of ARCA series racing. Setbacks at Daytona, Palm Beach, Salem and then Texas had cast an ugly cloud that raised doubts about his ability to compete this year.

But today the weather cooperated and the car held together and not only was he able to complete the race -he also got his groove back on.

"We got off to a horrible start this year," Smith said. "It was like being cursed. It was one bad thing after another and nothing we tried made a difference. It was like drowning in quick sand, the harder I tried to escape, the deeper I sank. But showing up at Talladega with a decent car and better prepared than we've ever been let me believe there was light at the end of the tunnel -and that little bitty light grew bigger and bigger the harder I ran. It felt great to be out there with the pack again after being on the sideline so long."

Smith says today's improved performance has encouraged him to re-energize and expand his program.

Said Smith: "We need a better garage space for the crew to congregate and call home. We need a chief mechanic to get the team and equipment better organized. Then we need to start doing things right again. And do them right again and again moving forward. We finally found a little traction today -maybe not as much as we'd hoped, but enough to build on."

Smith's sponsor, ApplianceZone.com Racing, has recommended - and mandated -reorganization of the Brad Smith Motorsports program "beginning yesterday" and hopes Smith and his team will use today's performance as a springboard to success. "Brad is a well-liked and admired member of the ARCA racing family and has huge potential," stated ApplianceZone.com CEO and founder Jim Allen. "We couldn't have been more excited for him today and hope this is the encouragement he needs to work harder this year."

Allen helped in the pit as jack man and went over the wall twice. His wife Paula served as backstretch spotter.

-source: brad smith motorsports

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Series ARCA