Smith Earns Another Top-10 On Chaotic Day at Talladega

JR Motorsports | 5/2/2015

Armour Chase Elliott Hellmanns Kasey Kahne NAPA News Race Report Regan Smith Talladega XFINITY Series

In a day that saw several wrecks at the famous Alabama superspeedway, Regan Smith earned his seventh top-10 finish in his last eight races.

Race 9 of 33: Winn-Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway

Track Specs: 2.66-mile oval / 113 laps

Weather: Sunny; 76 deg.

Race Winner: Joey Logano

Smith’s finish: 9th

Kahne’s finish: 33rd

Elliott’s finish: 37th

Regan Smith

Racing at Talladega Superspeedway doesn’t always mean the best car wins. It’s a combination of luck, circumstances and where you are when the chips fall that determines how you finish. Regan Smith had one of the fastest cars on the track in his Hellmann’s Chevrolet, but when push came to shove in the final run to the checkered flag on Saturday, he ended up ninth in the Winn-Dixie 300.

Smith restarted fifth with eight laps remaining in the race and was on the inside line. As the laps wound down, the usual pushing and bump-drafting broke out all over the track and when it was over, Smith had lost four spots.

Smith overcame a lot during the 113-lap race, including a damaged right-rear fender and bumper in a lap-one crash that caught up several of the top runners and a penalty for pitting too early when a crash happened around his lead group that had broken off to go to pit lane.  The ninth-place run was his seventh top-10 finish in nine races, and it allowed him to maintain fifth place in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver point standings.

Smith spent the majority of the race riding the draft near the front of the pack, detouring only after the lap-one crash and again after the lap-73 crash coming to pit road, both of which he neatly avoided. Working with spotter T.J. Majors, Smith charged back to contention each time.

Joey Logano won the race, followed closely by Brian Scott, Austin Dillon, J.J. Yeley and Joey Gase. JRM’s Kasey Kahne wound up 33rd and Chase Elliott 39th after crashing out of the event.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 Hellmann’s team

“We had a car capable of winning the race today. It was a new car that Jason and the guys had built for this race, and we were doing what we needed to do to stay up front. The Hellmann’s Chevrolet was fast and we were doing a good job staying out of trouble, but at the end, the pushing and shoving that you see all the time at Talladega cost us some spots. It was unfortunate and we had a good chance at making up even more points, but it wasn’t to be. It was a top-10 finish, but we could have had a lot more.”

Kasey Kahne

Kasey Kahne had a solid day going in Saturday’s Winn-Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway before getting caught up in an accident that ended his day. The No. 88 Armour Vienna Sausage Chevrolet was scored in the 33rd position after the car was deemed irreparable 14 laps prior to the checkered flag.

Kahne qualified 17th and raced within the top 10 for the majority of the day. The first part of the race was uneventful for the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro, but that quickly changed on lap 73. As Kahne was making his way onto pit road for a scheduled stop, several of his competitors wrecked near the entry to pit road. He drove by unscathed and crew chief Dave Elenz called for a four-tire change, however, as a result of the accident, pit road closed just before Kahne entered and the team received an untimely penalty for pitting early.

The Amour team quickly rebounded and Kahne gained five spots within the next seven laps. The No. 88 Chevy received minor cosmetic damage to the left rear in a lap-88 incident, but the team easily repaired the damage and Kahne quickly moved back inside the top 10. Unfortunately, Kahne was caught in another wreck on lap 99, not of his doing, which ended the day for the No. 88 team.

Joey Logano scored his third NASCAR XFINITY Series victory of 2015 with Brian Scott, Austin Dillon, JJ Yeley and Joey Gase rounding out the top five.

Kasey Kahne, driver No. 88 Armour Vienna Sausage team

“This was obviously not the finish we wanted. We had a fast Armour Chevy today, but things didn’t go our way. No one was really moving around much in the beginning of the race. We worked our way into the top 10, but we were never able to get all the way to the front. The pit road penalty put us a little behind, but our car was good and we were making our way back through the field. I thought we may have a shot at a good finish before we got caught in that last wreck. Just an unfortunate end to the day for this team, but Dave (Elenz) and the guys did a good job and I’m looking forward to getting back in a JRM car at Charlotte.”

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, finished 37th in Saturday’s Winn-Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.  A cut right-front tire was the culprit in the uncharacteristic finish for Elliott, which sent the team behind the wall for repairs on lap 38.  After extensive repairs Elliott returned to the track, but lacked the time to make major headway on his position.  The finish drops Elliott to third in the championship points standings, 37 markers behind leader Ty Dillon.

Up until the team’s misfortune Elliott was a clear-cut contender, driving to second place by lap eight.  When the field settled into single-file racing, Elliott positioned himself solidly among the top five.  It was during green-flag pit stops on lap 36 when the race took an ill-fated turn for the NAPA AUTO PARTS team.  As Elliott approached the pits for a left-side tire stop and attempted to slow down for pit road speed, the right-front tire briefly locked up.  Elliott came to the attention of the crew moments later, and executing the two-tire stop, they sent the No. 9 back onto the track, but unfortunately with a flat-spotted right front.  Once back up to speed, Elliott briefly inherited the lead before the right-front tire gave out and sent him up the track and into the outside retaining wall, pancaking the right side of the No. 9 machine.  Elliott limped the car back to the garage area where the crew made the necessary repairs to get the No. 9 back onto the track.  The team salvaged a 37th-place finish on the day. 

Joey Logano won the race, earning his third XFINITY victory of 2015.  He was followed to the line by Brian Scott, Austin Dillon, JJ Yeley and Joey Gase.

Chase Elliott, driver No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team

“Our plan was to take left-side tires on that stop, just flat spotted the right front coming onto pit road.  A few laps later, (the tire) went.  I hate it.  We tried to salvage what points we could.  The restrictor-plate tracks haven’t been kind to us this year.  This one definitely hurts, but I have a lot of confidence in our NAPA AUTO PARTS team.  We’ll just have to turn our focus toward Iowa and look to make some points back there.”

 

 

No. 7 Hellmann’s

Chevrolet Camaro

Regan Smith 

Start

11th

Finish

9th  

Laps Completed (Led)

113 of 113 (0)

Points (Bonus)

35 (0)

Standings (from leader)

5th (-43)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 88 Armour Vienna Sausage

Chevrolet Camaro

Kasey Kahne

Start

17th

Finish

33rd

Laps Completed (Led)

98 of 113 (0)

Points (Bonus)

11 (0)

Standings (from leader)

4th (-73)

Status

Accident

 

 

No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS

Chevrolet Camaro

Chase Elliott

Start

14th

Finish

37th

Laps Completed (Led)

84 of 113 (1)

Points (Bonus)

8 (1)

Standings (from leader)

3rd (-37)

Status

Running 

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 23 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • May 30 01:00 PM ET
    Mid-Ohio 170Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • June 6 01:30 PM ET
    LTi Printing 250Michigan International Speedway
  • June 13 08:30 PM ET
    Iowa 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 20 04:00 PM ET
    Chicagoland 300Chicagoland Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LS Tractor 200

Phoenix Raceway | 3/7/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Harrison Burton #1760
2Chase Briscoe173-3
3Austin Cindric155-21
4Brandon Jones148-28
5Ross Chastain146-30
6Noah Gragson143-33
7Ryan Sieg143-33
8Justin Haley140-36
9Justin Allgaier138-38
10Michael Annett119-57