Daytona Duel: Regan Smith race notes

Smith Finishes 19th in Gatorade Duel; Falls Short of Making Field for Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2007)-- Freshman driver Regan Smith fell short of earning a start in Sunday's Daytona's 500 after finishing 19th in Thursday's ...

Smith Finishes 19th in Gatorade Duel; Falls Short of Making Field for Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2007)-- Freshman driver Regan Smith fell short of earning a start in Sunday's Daytona's 500 after finishing 19th in Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway.

"It just wasn't quite good enough today," offered Smith, who was behind the wheel of the No. 39 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet. "I was in good position for a lot of the race, but I got hung out there at the end and just couldn't go anywhere. I was boxed in. I'm looking forward to coming back here next year and doing this again."

Smith needed to finish in the top-two among the 13 drivers in his race who needed to qualifying for the 500. He was seventh among that group.

"Regan did a great job and he will have a lot of success in a lot of future Daytona 500s," said Jay Frye, Ginn Racing's CEO and general manager.

The 23-year-old Smith, who was attempting to make his first career Nextel Cup start, felt he gained plenty of experience.

"Today was some good practice for (Saturday's) Busch race and it was great to get some seat time around these Cup drivers," said Smith, who will attempt to qualify for the Busch race in the No. 4 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet.

Smith will share driving duties this year in the Nextel Cup Series with veteran Mark Martin in the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. His first Cup race is scheduled for Bristol Motor Speedway, March 25.

Sunday's Daytona 500 will be broadcast live on FOX, beginning with a pre-race show at 2 p.m. ET.

-credit: ginn racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Regan Smith , Mark Martin