Ford 400 Post-Race Transcript

An Interview With:

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the driver of the No. 01 Chevrolet for DEI, that's our 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup series, Raybestos Rookie of the Year, Regan Smith. Regan becomes the first rookie in the history of the program, that's 52 years, we're talking about, to not have a DNF. He is the first rookie from DEI. And he either shared or outright led in 26 of the 36 races this year. Regan, congratulations on that honor.

Your thoughts about getting Rookie of the Year.

REGAN SMITH: Really excited about getting Rookie of the Year. It's a big deal. First driver from DEI to be able to get it.

Not knowing what I'm doing next year, if I'm going to be part of the Ganassi DEI thing or not. At least I've got that to take to them. Let Theresa put it in the trophy room. She gave me a great opportunity this year. Happy for Principal Financial, Chevrolet, and all my guys. Looking forward to what next year brings for me.

Q: Regan, how difficult is it to have this accomplishment, but have your future be to uncertain?

REGAN SMITH: This time of year, if you don't have it figured out what you're doing, it's always difficult. But it's something that at the end of the day, you know, you can put that on the shelf at the house and have that accomplishment. I'm very confident in my abilities as a race car driver. This year has been a tough year. It's a tough year for all the rookies. No excuses for that. It was a difficult year for the new car, that's all there was to it. I'm pretty confident I'll be driving a cup car for somebody next year. I just don't know which one. If not, I'll look forward to another two series and work hard to get back to this level.

Q: Were you a little bit surprised that the driver of the stature of Sam Hornish would come in with Penske, but not really give you much of a fight for that rookie title? You seemed to kind of being in control of that thing most of the year.

REGAN SMITH: We were in control of it most of the year. You know, at the end there, Sam really started turning it on towards the end of the season, the way the points thing shook down. I know a lot of the other rookies weren't in cars and the way the points shook down, it was kind of awkward this year.

But Sam's a talented race car driver. There's been a lot of places he was extremely quick this year. Mile and a half's he's been quicker than us at a lot of them. We've been quicker than him at some of them. But he'll work it out next year, definitely, and

Penske's a good organization, and they're going to put good stuff behind him, for sure.

THE MODERATOR: Regan, congratulations on the Rookie of the Year.

=credit: nascar