Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Can-Am 500
TRACK: ISM Raceway
DRIVER: Regan Smith
CAR: No. 95 Procore Camaro ZL1
- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams traveled west to Arizona for the second-to-last race of the season and the final race to set the Championship 4 field for the season finale. The one-mile track completely overhauled its facility since the spring race weekend earlier in the season. Part of the transformation included changing the configuration of the track that moved the Start/Finish line and restart zone. Regan Smith and the No. 95 Procore team fought loose-handling conditions over the course of the weekend, but the team continued to adjust their race car throughout Sunday's race in an effort to give Smith what he needed to better fight for positions. Smith was able to run a clean race on Sunday afternoon and went on to finish 22nd.
- Sunday's Can-Am 500 took the green at 12:38 p.m. MT to begin the 312-lap race at the one-mile track. Within the opening ten laps of the race, Smith told crew chief Jon Leonard that the Procore Chevy was "too loose on exit, but also too tight in both ends." The team discussed various adjustments for their first stop of the afternoon as Smith mentioned that he was having to straddle the apron in order to be able to turn how he wanted in Turns 1 and 2.
- Stage 1 ended following lap 75 with the Procore Chevy running in 26th at the time. Smith told Leonard that he had lost some braking, but that the car was too tight in the middle and had started to once again get loose in. The Procore Chevy came in for service under the caution for four tires, fuel, as well as a wedge and air pressure adjustment, but as Smith was exiting pit road, he was tagged with a speeding penalty.
- Stage 2 began with the field taking the green flag to begin lap 84 and the No. 95 scored in 30th. Immediately after the restart, Smith told his team that the Procore Chevy was "too loose in to fire off and the car's squirmy like this." A caution at lap 96 allowed Leonard to bring his driver down pit road for a four-tire stop in the hopes that some fresh rubber might help. As the run went on, Smith told his team "that helped a little, but not as much as I need." A caution at lap 133 allowed the team to make another round of adjustments before the end of Stage 2.
- Smith ended Stage 2 in 26th as he radioed in to his team "it's just been ridiculously loose everywhere." Stage 3 took the green flag to begin lap 159 with the Procore Chevy scored in 23rd. At lap 180, Smith told his team that the tightness in the middle was his biggest problem at the time, even though the No. 95 machine was still loose in as well. Leonard called his driver in for service on lap 224 as green-flag stops had begun to cycle, but right after the team had come in for a four-tire stop, the caution came out. Smith seemed stalled out in 26th at the time as he continued to fight his race car. On lap 262, he told the team "it's tight in the middle, but it just keeps getting looser all day long."
- Two late-race incidents found NASCAR officials having to red flag the race for clean-up, but Smith had been able to keep the Procore Chevy clear of any incidents. In the end, Smith finished 22nd with the No. 95 who featured Procore's paint scheme aboard it for the final time in the 2018 season.
- Kyle Busch drove away with the win Sunday in Phoenix as he earned his eighth win of the season and punched his ticket to the Championship battle in next weekend's season finale. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five finishers. Next weekend the series travels to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season finale and to crown the 2018 Champion.
2018 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 35
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 1
Top 10's - 2
Poles - 0
Ford EcoBoost 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile)
Sunday, November 11th, 2018