BUSCH: Nashville II: Regan Smith race notes

Despite Fifth-Place Comeback, Smith has Mixed Feelings with Busch Finish NASHVILLE (June 9, 2007) -- A top-five finish would ordinarily make a team content in the NASCAR Busch Series. But that wasn't the case for Regan Smith and the No. 4 Ginn...

Despite Fifth-Place Comeback, Smith has Mixed Feelings with Busch Finish

NASHVILLE (June 9, 2007) -- A top-five finish would ordinarily make a team content in the NASCAR Busch Series. But that wasn't the case for Regan Smith and the No. 4 Ginn Racing team following an impressive come-from-behind fifth-place result in Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

"I don't know if we would have won, but we sure would have been contending for the win," said a disappointed Smith following his third top-five and fifth top-10 finish of the season.

Smith started 11th and zoomed to the front as soon as the green flag waved to start the 300-mile race. He was solidly running in third place when he made his first pit stop under green-flag conditions on Lap 62 of 225.

But as soon as Smith drove his Ginn Resorts Chevy into the pit box, an accident occurred on the track, resulting in a caution. Since a number of the leaders had not yet pitted, the caution sent Smith back to 18th place and a lap down.

"That was so unfortunate because from that point on we were in a battle-back mode," offered Smith. "You go from having one of the fastest hot rods on the track to being a lap down. The unlucky timing hurt us big. But we fought back and the pit-road guys were once again awesome."

Due to only a few cautions, Smith didn't rely on the lucky dog free pass to get back on the lead lap. He got there on his own when he passed the lead car after a restart on Lap 118. And when Smith got by the first-place car, he kicked it up a notch and was out in front by a good margin even though he was the last car on the lead lap and running 17th.

"In clean air we were flying and that was another indication how good we were," noted Smith.

To gain track position, crew chief Doug Randolph made a strategic call on the final pit stop. He decided against a set of new tires and called for fuel only on Lap 152. The quick gas-and-go put Smith in sixth position when he returned to action.

"We substituted fresh rubber for track position - it was getting late in the race and we needed to get up there," explained Randolph. "We got the track position but with older tires we couldn't race for the win. It's very frustrating knowing you have a much better car than where you finished. But the fifth-place result was a tribute to the entire team for staying focused. Regan drove an aggressive and smart race."

Smith, who also had a fifth-place finish in the April race at Nashville, moved to fifth in the Busch driver point standings.

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Regan Smith