Following a ninth place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Regan Smith kept the positive momentum rolling, en route to a third place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“We had a good car,” Smith commented. “I don’t think we were as good as the 33 (Austin Dillon) and 22 (Ryan Blaney), but given the times of the 62 (Brendan Gaughan) and 54 (Kyle Busch), I felt that we were the next best car.”
Smith had to work for his top-five finish from the start after falling back due to Brian Scott not going on the initial restart, followed by a slow pit stop on his first trip down pit road.
“We battled hard all day long,” Smith continued. “Jason Burdett had made great cars with the adjustments. We slowly got the car a little better and better, and one more adjustment and I’d liked to have seen what we could’ve done.”
The top-five finish for Smith marks his first top-five finish since October last season, and a strong run on a type of track that hasn’t treated the JR Motorsports competitor in the past.
“Mile and a halves have been a problem for me for the past two years and been kind of our akillies hill for this 7 team, and we worked really hard on that during the off-season. Pleased to come out of here with a decent day, and something to build on.”
Moving forward, Smith feels that they can only get stronger, as now it’s just about fine tuning the set-up. For Las Vegas, the story was being tight all day no matter the adjustments.
“It’s going to be about fine tuning stuff, but certainly the team has really been doing a nice job with Jason Burdett leading it and taking the ship the direction he wants to take it,” Smith said. “He’s been doing a nice job with it, and we’re only going to get better. That’s the third race that he’s called on the pit box for us, and he’s very calm, collective and smart at what he does, and that comes across on the radio.
“I’m excited to continue building that relationship and see where it goes this year.”