Smith Banks Top-15 at Bristol Bristol, TN -- In his second start for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports (MDM), Regan Smith brought home his second top-15 finish in as many starts with a 14th place finish at the half-mile high-banked Bristol Motor ...
Smith Banks Top-15 at Bristol
Bristol, TN -- In his second start for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports (MDM), Regan Smith brought home his second top-15 finish in as many starts with a 14th place finish at the half-mile high-banked Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).
Following a qualifying effort that started the No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado in the third position, the 23-year old was eager to get behind the wheel of a truck he knew was capable of running up front. When the sun went down in 'Thunder Valley', the beating and banging at Bristol made for an intense race.
On lap 35, Smith narrowly missed an accident that collected his teammate, Timothy Peters, bringing out the second caution period of the race. When crew chief Eric Phillips called the truck to pit road, the team went to work changing four tires and filling the truck up with fuel. Smith and the team restarted the race in the 14th position when the green flag flew on lap 45.
On lap 70, Smith radioed the crew and reported that the track was 'different and that the banking couldn't be used to the drivers' advantage like it used to'. When the race restarted on lap 75 following a brief caution, the field stacked up in front of Smith, causing damage to the nose of the truck, and instantly creating a tight condition.
The caution flag flew once again and the crew prepared to make changes and fix the damage to the nose. When the race went green on lap 109, Smith restarted in the 21st position. For the remainder of the night, the team struggled to get a handle on the tight condition, and the damage to the nose proved costly.
The Cato, NY native battled an ill-handling truck for ¾ of the race, but never gave up in his fight through the field. Smith radioed the crew and said he would 'keep fighting' and he did just that, bringing the No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado home in the 14th position.
"We caved the nose in on one of those restarts", Smith said. "We pitted and took four tires under caution with everybody else, which I definitely think was the right call. We went back up to eighth or ninth after the pit stop there and I was pretty happy with the truck. We got jammed up on one of the restarts, just one of those chain reaction things and put a cut in the front of the nose. We got really tight after that and just couldn't get the truck back to where it was really good, so from that point on, fighting traffic and everything, it just wasn't our night."
"I am really proud of Eric Phillips (crew chief) and all the guys at Morgan-Dollar. They brought me and keep bringing me really good trucks. We are going to get some top-fives and hopefully better than that before it is all said and done."
"I have kind of mixed opinions of the changes to the track. You can pass. I think if our truck had been damaged for half the night, I would like it a lot better. You definitely can pass and race side-by-side competitively. It is a little tougher on the bottom to pass; you can't get a run up off if somebody is along side of you. If somebody is up on the high side and is halfway decent, you can't get a run on them without wrecking them. I think we saw plenty of that tonight. It is good, it is still Bristol - same rack 'em up, smash 'em up, everybody ticked off Bristol."