LOUDON, N.H. (Army News Service, Sept. 18, 2007) - Regan Smith finished 36th in Sunday's Sylvania 300 Nextel Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. It was the seventh career Cup start for the 23-year-old driver.

Mr. Smith, driving the No. 01 Principal Financial Group Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., started 16th but fell back early and couldn't make up ground during the 300-lap race on the 1.058-mile oval.

"I was hoping for a better result, but it was another good learning experience," offered Mr. Smith. "We just couldn't get the Principal Financial/U.S. Army Chevy hooked up. I really appreciate all this team has done for me this year. It's been great and I am looking forward to the future."

Mr. Smith is slated to drive a full-time Nextel Cup entry for DEI in 2008. He will be part of the team's four-car lineup that will include Martin Truex Jr., Paul Menard and the Mark Martin/Aric Almirola tandem.

"I have a great opportunity in front of me and I just can't wait to be working with my new teammates and drive every week," offered Mr. Smith. "Knowing what's ahead takes away a little of the sting from today's performance. Mark Martin keeps on preaching patience and that's the approach I am taking."

Speaking of the veteran Martin, he will be back in the 01 Chevy at the next two Cup races in Dover on Sept. 23 and Kansas on Sept. 30. Mr. Almirola will drive the 01 car in Talladega on Oct. 7.

The 01 DEI team is ranked 15th in Nextel Cup owner points.