Talladega: Regan Smith preview

Smith Back in 01 U.S. Army Car; Aims to Continue Momentum TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 2007) -- Regan Smith will be back in the saddle again, driving the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in Sunday's Aaron's 499 Nextel Cup race at Talladega ...

Smith Back in 01 U.S. Army Car; Aims to Continue Momentum

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 2007) -- Regan Smith will be back in the saddle again, driving the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in Sunday's Aaron's 499 Nextel Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

It will be the third career Cup start for the 23-year-old Ginn Racing driver, who is sharing the 01 ridewith Mark Martin. In his previous two starts, Smithfinishedr5th in Bristol (March 25) andr6th in Martinsville (April 1).

Martin, who will return to the 01 Army car in Richmond next week,willperform his other duty with Ginn Racing this weekend -- mentoring development drivers Ricky Carmichael and Matt Martin in asuper late model race Saturday night at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

Martinhas competed in six of the eight Nextel Cup races this season and is currentlyq0th indriver points. The combination of Martin and Smith have put the Ginn Racingteamfifthin owner points.

"We have a lot of momentum right now and I want to keep it going," said Smith. "I enjoyed driving the U.S. Army Chevyand representing our soldiers. Idefinitely missed not being in the car.But I understand my role and feel fortunate to be in this position.Theschedule that has been laid out for me by Ginn Racing isto get more experience and beready for next year."

Smith's goal at Talladega is basically the same that he had for his first two Cup races.

"The first objective is tofinish the raceon the lead lap and run with the lead pack," offered Smith, whose next scheduled Cup race is June 24 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. "The second objective is to improve on my first two finishes by producing a top-20 or top-15. We're capable of having an even better finish because of our fast Hendrick engines and the quality superspeedway program which Ginn Racing hashad over the years."

Smith is also looking to benefit from competing in Saturday's Busch race at the 2.66-mile oval.

"By entering both races it just gives you a better feel for everything," said Smith, who finished eighth in last week's Busch event at Phoenix. "There are a number of things that can be applied from Saturday to Sunday. It's a big weekend on a big track and I am looking forward to having two successful races."

Smith's only start at Talladega was in last year's Busch race. He started 38th and finished 37th after being collected in an accident just before the half-way mark.

-credit: rfr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Regan Smith , Mark Martin , Matt Martin