Michigan International Speedway
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed goal of getting to the top-20 in standings and other topics.
TALK YOUR MINDSET COMING INTO MICHIGAN KNOWING YOU HAVE TO GET INSIDE THE TOP-20 IN POINTS: “The obvious thing is that we have to get inside the top-20. We’ve been chipping away at it a little bit here as of late, but, certainly, we need to get our consistency a little bit better as a team. I think that at points in every race we’ve been running good enough to have chipped a lot more away at it, but maybe have had a problem here, an issue there, something. We have got to work hard to get in the top-20. This is a good week for us. This is a good track for us. Next week, for us as a team, is going to be kind of a wild card. Sonoma, going to that one, counting on as not gaining as many points as we might be able to at other places just because my road racing at that place isn’t as good. It is certainly reachable for us to get to the top-20 and then we will have to see where the wins shake out and hopefully we’ve gotten another one by then. I think if we do that, it certainly helps make you feel a little more comfortable.”
HOW AS THE WIN AND THE WILD CARD CHASE CHANGED YOUR TEAMS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT? “I don’t think it has negatively affected the development at all. If anything, it has shown us as a team what we are capable of and what we can do when we do things right all weekend all has shown me as a driver what I am capable of. When I don’t make any mistakes and don’t do anything stupid on the track. The main thing for us is that we have got to put that together every weekend. We’ve shown that we have speed pretty much everywhere we’ve gone this year at one point or another throughout the course of a weekend. I think from a development standpoint, the one area we have had to work on has been translating qualifying speed into race speed. In particular, at the beginning of races. We don’t seem to fire off like we want to at the beginning of these races. Short of three or four races where we have raced forward instead of losing a couple of spots at the start, that’s kind of been our Achilles. By the end of the race, all of a sudden, now we’re as quick as anybody again and we are real happy with our laps times and where the cars at. But, we go through that lull early and in the middle of races. From a development standpoint, I don’t really think it has hurt us at all, I think, if anything, its given us more confidence as a team and as an organization. Certainly if there is more attention being paid to us, there is nothing wrong with that I don’t think.”
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO ADD A DAYTONA TROPHY TO A DARLINGTON TROPHY WHEN WE GO BACK THERE IN TWO WEEKS? “Daytona is obviously a great place to win and it would be a huge deal to have both of those in the same year. For that matter, I would be happy covering all the parent holidays and win this weekend on Father’s Day weekend. Hit Mother’s Day and Father’s Day then I don’t have to spend money on gifts or anything. (LAUGHS) Daytona is a special place. The Daytona trophy that I would rather have is the one you get in the spring time there, not to take away from the summertime one, because they are both important, but obviously that is the big one down there. I don’t know that there is any race track on the circuit that you don’t win at and that you can’t make an argument that for some reason that it is a special place to win. You can always find that story and find that reason that it is special with the exception of the three or four races essentially. For me the other one that is important is Watkins Glen. I just talked about how good I am at road courses so that might be a little bit more of a stretch. Certainly that is one I’ll put extra emphasis on when we get to there.”
HOW BIG OF A CHALLENGE IS IT TO KEEP YOUR FOCUS WHEN THINGS DON’T HAPPEN AS YOU WANT? “That’s a good question because we’ve run into that a couple of times when we are running good and we have a problem and I maybe don’t do my job inside the car of keeping a calm as I need to. We’ve worked on that and I’ve gotten better at that. It seem that once or twice a year I always have those mental lapses where I just blow up and go off the deep end on the radio. I think it happens to every driver at some point or another. It happened to me a few weeks ago. I guess the main thing you have to understand is that there are certain things as a driver you can control and there are certain things you can’t control and as long as you are doing everything in your power to control your stuff, that is where your focus needs to stay and if other stuff happens around you, you have to block it out and keep your head
-source: team chevy