DENVER, Colo. – When you mention Dover International Speedway to Regan Smith, he lights up with excitement. He always has a glowing review for the all-concrete oval, known as the Monster Mile.
“Dover is one of my favorite racetracks, I love racing there,” stated Smith. “I guess if you look at my Dover record you wouldn’t think I would have these likeable feelings about the track. But I do, and feel that we had some good runs at Dover recently, but either got caught up in an accident or had mechanical problems.”
Smith’s aim in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover will be to drive the No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet to his best Sprint Cup finish at the one-mile circuit.
In nine starts at Dover, Smith’s best result of 17th came in last year’s fall race.
“Let’s just say if we don’t better that mark of 17th, I would be disappointed,” noted Smith.
In two of the last three races at Dover, Smith had a solid run going, but a broken track bar mount (June 2011) and a multicar accident (June 2012) spoiled any chance of collecting a strong finish.
“I just know our Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet can produce at this track, but you need to avoid those major issues,” explained the 29-year-old Smith.
Smith, who is 23rd in driver points, is coming off a 16th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“New Hampshire was one of those races where we had a decent result, but struggled for most of the race with handling problems,” said Smith. “We’re so close to making it happen and that gets a little frustrating. If we can put it all together at Dover then I am confident of securing one of our best results of the season.”
But before Furniture Row Racing takes on the Monster Mile in Sunday’s race, Smith says that a strong qualifying effort will be high on the priority list.
“You can get lapped early on this track and that’s why starting up front is so important,” stated Smith.
Prior to last week’s New Hampshire race, Smith had consecutive top-10 qualifying efforts of third in Richmond and seventh in Chicago.