Loudon: Regan Smith preview

Mentor, Inner Voice Continue to Guide Smith LOUDON, N.H. (June 27, 2007) -- It's almost like one of those annoying recordings that refuses to stop. But you won't hear any complaints from Regan Smith, who will make his fifth career Nextel Cup ...

Mentor, Inner Voice Continue to Guide Smith

LOUDON, N.H. (June 27, 2007) -- It's almost like one of those annoying recordings that refuses to stop. But you won't hear any complaints from Regan Smith, who will make his fifth career Nextel Cup start Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway.

The "recorded message" that repeats is actually the inner voice of Smith, who constantly reminds himself of his mentor's advice about patience being vital for future success. The mentor is veteran Mark Martin, who shares the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet ride with the 23-year-old Smith.

"Mark has been a huge help in calming me down," said Smith of his Ginn Racing teammate. "There are times I just want to be very aggressive and do whatever it takes to gain track position. But fortunately for all of us on the Army team I've put Mark's advice ahead of mine."

"Regan has been a good student and it shows on the track," said Martin. "He has a great future ahead of him."

After finishing all four Cup events he has entered in the Army Chevy this season, including last week's road race in Sonoma, Calif., Smith is aiming for more improvement in this weekend's LENOX Industrial Tools 300.

"I still want to finish and keep on learning, but I also want to step it up and come away with a better result for our soldiers," said Smith. "It's hard to be satisfied with just finishing, but on the other hand you don't want to do anything stupid that will cause an early exit from the race. It all goes back to being patient."

In his first four Cup races, Smith has had finishes of 25 (Bristol), 26 (Martinsville), 24 (Talladega) and 30 (Sonoma). He has completed each race and finished on the lead lap in the last two.

"Regan and the team are both going through a learning curve," said 01 crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "You don't find the exact formula overnight. It's a work in progress and I feel we're headed in the right direction. We have a good driver/team chemistry."

After New Hampshire, Smith's next scheduled Cup race in the 01 Army Chevy will be Aug. 12 at the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Note:
Smith will not compete in this weekend's Busch Series race at New Hampshire. He also missed last week's Busch race in Milwaukee. Despite missing the Milwaukee race, Smith is ninth in the Busch driver point standings. His next scheduled Busch race will be July 6 at Daytona International Speedway.

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Regan Smith