By David FerroniJuly 2, 2007
LOUDON, N.H. (Army News Service, July 2, 2007) - Regan Smith finished 32nd Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway in his fifth career NASCAR Nextel Cup race.
The U.S. Army driver qualified 13th for the 300-lap race but had trouble finding grip on the 1.058-mile oval.
"It was another learning experience," said Mr. Smith following the LENOX Industrial Tools 300. "I know it's only my fifth Cup event, but I'm a racer and want to be out there passing cars and being in contention. I felt better as the race went on, but still couldn't quite get our Army Chevy to stick through the corners."
Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton was also disappointed with the result but had a different take on the weekend's overall performance.
"It's hard to look at the big picture, especially coming off a 32nd place finish," said Mr. Pemberton. "But that's what you have to do - you need to sit back and look at the entire weekend. We qualified well, but missed it during the first part of the race. We did make some changes and the lap times picked up. This is about getting Regan ready for a full-time Cup ride. The driver/team learning process is headed in the right direction."
Mr. Smith's next scheduled race in the Army Chevy is at the Watkins Glen, N.Y., road course Aug. 12.
Mark Martin will be in the 01 car at the next four Cup races - Daytona (July 7), Chicago (July 15) Indianapolis (July 29) and Pocono (Aug. 5).
The Mark Martin/Regan Smith 01 Ginn Racing team is ranked ninth in owner points after 17 races.
(David Ferroni is a writer for U.S. Army NASCAR Racing.)