Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Ford EcoBoost 400
TRACK: Homestead-Miami Speedway
DRIVER: Regan Smith
CAR: No. 95 Dumont JETS Camaro ZL1
- The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series traveled to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2018 season finale on Sunday. For the No. 95 team, it’s been a challenging year after Leavine Family Racing learned that their driver, Kasey Kahne, would eventually sit out for the final 11 races of the season due to health problems. Regan Smith took over the reins of the No. 95 Chevrolet starting at Indianapolis, and the team battled through adversity along the way. Sunday’s race found Smith starting from 30th in the Dumont JETS Chevy after he encountered handling challenges earlier in the weekend. Misfortune struck the team during the pace laps of Sunday’s race however when fluid was discovered to be leaking from the No. 95 and forced the team back in to the garage for repairs before the green flag waved. The team was able to get back out on track after only missing the opening 26 laps, but they were forced to close out the 2018 season with a 39th-place finish.
- Sunday’s 267-lap event began with the No. 95 Dumont JETS Chevy in the team’s garage stall as they worked to repair a damaged brake line. The team replaced several elements within the right-rear of their Chevy before Smith was able to return to the track 26 laps down to the leaders. Despite the challenge at the start, the team worked to focus on handling and running their own race based on an altered fuel strategy hoping to be able to possibly catch a few breaks in making up some of the lost laps.
- Stage 1 came to an end following lap 80, and Smith told crew chief Jon Leonard that the Dumont JETS Chevy was loose in and off the wall during his opening run of the race. Leonard discussed making a wedge adjustment for their first round of changes, but told his driver that they were going to take the wavearound in an effort to stretch the run into their fuel window.
- Stage 2 took the green flag to begin lap 87, and at lap 92, Leonard called his driver in for service for the team’s first pit stop of the race. The Dumont JETS Chevy took four tires, fuel, and a right-rear chassis adjustment under green in an effort to help tighten up the No. 95. Following the adjustments, Smith radioed in to the team “still too loose, but I’m fighting the middle now more.” Smith was called in for a four-tire stop with air pressure adjustments on lap 126, but as Stage 2 approached its conclusion, the No. 95 machine had gotten “tighter getting into the corner” according to Smith.
- The team continued to pit on their own fuel strategy as they opted to take the wavearound several times hoping to catch a break with cautions. Tightness continued to challenge Smith throughout the remainder of the race in his Dumont JETS Chevy. By lap 224, the No. 95 was starting to “snap loose” as the track continued to change into the evening. Despite the continued efforts to improve the handling in their No. 95 machine, the Dumont JETS team was forced to end their season 39th when the checkered flag waved on Sunday.
- Joey Logano won Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 as he also drove away with the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship title in the process. The other three Championship 4 contenders wound up finishing in line behind Logano with Truex, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, rounding out the top-four finishers.
2018 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 36
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 1
Top 10's - 2
Poles - 0
Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile)
Daytona Beach, FL
Sunday, February 17th, 2019