Smith's Talladega Return will be in National Day of Prayer Car TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 21, 2009) --The mere mention of Talladega Superspeedwaybrings out an emotion for Regan Smith, who feels hewon the last Sprint Cup race contested at the...
Smith's Talladega Return will be in National Day of Prayer Car
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 21, 2009) --The mere mention of Talladega Superspeedwaybrings out an emotion for Regan Smith, who feels hewon the last Sprint Cup race contested at the 2.66-mile oval.
Smith's return to the Alabama trackfor this weekend's Cup race will be in theNo.w8 National Day of Prayer Chevroletfor Furniture Row Racing. This is the fourth straight year at theTalladega spring race that the Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row company is donatingspace on the car toNational Day of Prayer,an annual observance establishedby Congress and held on the first Thursday in May. (nationaldayofprayer.org)
"It's hard not tothink about that lastlap,"said Smith, wholed the field to the checkered flag in the October Talladega race, but saw victory taken away when NASCAR ruled that he passedTony Stewart on the finallapbelow the out-of-bounds yellow line.The penalty relegated Smith to an 18th-place finishin his Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry.
"I was being blocked and it was either passing Stewart or crashing the field," explained Smith.bI felt I made the proper move andwon the race."
Though it would have been his first career Cup win, Smith harbors no ill feelings towards Talladega. In fact, the 25-year-old driver said he enjoys Talladega's big track and looks forward to racing four wide.
"Talladega brings out all of the emotions," offered Smith,the 2008 Raybestos Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. "I've always liked racing there --it's 500 miles of excitement and mind games -- an incredible rush. It will be an honor to drive the No. 78 Chevy with the National Day of Prayer paint scheme."
Smith, who is in his first season with Furniture Row Racing, feels he can again contend for a win at Talladega.
"Furniture Row has a history ofoperating a strong superspeedway program," said Smith. "The team sat on the pole at last year's Talladega race. We also had a solid performancein this year'sDaytona 500. So, right now I am feeling upbeat about this weekend. But first things first -- we're still a go-or-go-home team andneed to qualify."
With Furniture Row Racing running a limited schedule in 2009, the Talladega race will be Smith's fifth Cup event of the season. He has qualified in the previous four races he entered with abest starting position ofninth, which was at last week's event in Phoenix.
"We've had some good runs this year," noted Smith. "We were a top-15 car in Phoenix last week but had some issues on pit road. We also had solid runs in Las Vegas (19th) and Daytona (21st).This is a committed team and we eagerly look forward to each race that we enter."