Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Gander Outdoors 400
TRACK: Dover International Speedway
DRIVER: Regan Smith
CAR: No. 95 Dumont JETS Camaro ZL1
- NASCAR’s top series traveled to Delaware for their second visit to the “Monster Mile” of Dover International Speedway of the season for Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400. Regan Smith continued his substitute role behind the wheel of the No. 95 Dumont JETS Chevrolet as Kasey Kahne remains sidelined from competition for medical reasons. Weather interfered with the series’ on-track schedule on both Friday and Saturday when it washed out qualifying as well as one practice session. Teams were able to get on track though for two practice sessions during the weekend however, and the starting line-up was set according to owner points. Smith started the race from 25th and fought both loose and tight-handling conditions in his No. 95 machine during the entire race at a track that is known to challenge teams with it’s unique set of trials. The race went into extra laps due to a late-race caution, but Smith was able to stay out of harm’s way to finish 21st.
- Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 took the green flag at 2:19 p.m. EST as the Dumont JETS Camaro ZL1 rolled off the starting grid from 25th. During the opening run, Smith radioed in to crew chief Jon Leonard that the car needed more rear grip as he told the team that the back of the car was incredibly loose at the time. Green-flag stops began to cycle through the field following lap 60, but Leonard told his driver that they were going to stick with the strategy plan of trying to stretch their fuel window with those that they were racing around for position.
- Smith got as high as third before his older tires started to fade to the fresher tires of those who had already hit pit road for service. As the Dumont JETS Chevy began to dip back into the field, Leonard called his driver in for service on lap 95 for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment. Stage 1 came to an end following lap 120 with Smith scored in 27th at the time.
- The Dumont JETS team stuck with their plan and decided to take the wavearound on the first caution of the afternoon. Under the yellow, Smith was able to further discuss the handling challenges that he was combatting inside of the No. 95 at the time. “A little too tight in the middle, but overall, it’s pretty good” was the feedback from the driver as the team worked on a plan to help with the entry.
- The race returned to green to begin Stage 2 on lap 129 with the Dumont JETS Chevy running in 24th. Smith was able to improve to 21st over the next run as he told his team that the No. 95 was “rolling too tight” at the time. Another round of green-flag pit stops began around lap 188, and Smith his pit road for four tires and fuel on lap 197. With just over half of the race remaining, the team continued to try and stretch their fuel window whenever possible even though Dover can be a very challenging place for tire wear as well on longer runs.
- Stage 3 concluded after lap 240, and the team discussed the possibilities of taking the wavearound again, but it was ultimately decided that fresh tires would be more beneficial, so Leonard called his driver in for a four-tire stop on lap 244. The race began the final stage of the race returning to green to start lap 248, but the Dumont JETS Chevy kept challenging Smith by being “too tight rolling” and “loose on throttle” at the time.
- With just over 80 laps remaining in the race, another round of green-flag pit stops started to cycle, but a caution came out on lap 339 for debris. Smith came down pit road for four tires, fuel, and several chassis adjustments before lining up in 23rd for the lap 349 restart. The caution came out during lap 392 and ultimately set up another caution that happened once the field was returning to green to start lap 397. Several cars were collected following contact on lap 397 which set up NASCAR Overtime and a green-white-checkered finish.
- Chase Elliott drove off with the victory Sunday afternoon as he earned his second series career win. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five finishers at Dover on Sunday, while Smith and his Dumont JETS Chevy finished 21st.
2018 Season Summary:
Starts - 30
Wins - 0
Top 5’s - 1
Top 10’s - 1
Poles - 0
Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile)
Sunday, October 14, 2018