Yes, Regan Smith was hot on Saturday at the Glen after taking a tumble in the point standings, but here's the real reason why...
If Smith was upset that he was dumped not once but twice during the XFINITY Series race at Watkins Glen, it's because there was more than just a win on the line.
This is a contract year for the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevy. And despite sitting fourth in the NXS point standings, finishing 20th isn’t going to help his cause.
I’m working for my job right now. I don’t know where I’m going to be or what I’m going to be doing.
“I’m working for my job right now,” Smith told motorsport.com. “I don’t know where I’m going to be or what I’m going to be doing. We had a shot at the championship — and he (Ty Dillon) just took that from me.”
Smith’s first wreck came at the hands of Dillon on the Lap 40 restart in Turn 1. He was running third at the time then fell to 29th.
“I got dumped in Turn 1, it was pretty plain and simple,” Regan said of his incident with Dillon. “I don’t think I’m the only one to get dumped today. It’s just hard for Taxslayer — all the guys at JR Motorsports work really hard on these race cars."
Smith had recovered to 13th-place when Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Brendan Gaughan nailed the No. 7 Chevy 16 laps later.
After Joey Logano took the checkered flag, Smith had a conversation with Gaughan at the No. 62 car. After Smith said his piece, he tracked down Dillon on pit road. That's when a scuffle ensued between the two drivers.
Dillon's apology relayed to Smith did little to assuage the driver’s disappointment.
“I guarantee you, I might have lost the championship today, but he sure as hell did, too. There’s zero chance that the 3 car wins this championship — and I’m going to make sure of it.”
Smith finished 20th in the Zippo 200 at The Glen. His deficit increased from 39 points behind NXS leader Chris Buescher entering the weekend to 57 points after the race.
Smith won the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in the Sprint Cup Series. Last season he finished second in the NXS point standings. He earned his fourth XFINITY career win in last year's season opener at Daytona.
Dillon, who is tied for second in the point standings with Smith’s teammate Chase Elliott (24 points behind Buescher) later Tweeted: