Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Hollywood Casino 400
TRACK: Kansas Superspeedway
DRIVER: Regan Smith
CAR: No. 95 Tommy Williams Drywall Camaro ZL1
- With just five races remaining in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, teams traveled west to Kansas Speedway for their second visit of the year to the challenging 1.5-mile track. With cold temperatures and high winds throughout the weekend, teams were tested with handling as they worked to get their race cars to work on the tricky high line of the track. Regan Smith and his No. 95 Tommy Williams Drywall team earned the 26th starting position in Friday’s qualifying session, but damage to their race car early in Sunday’s race found the team stuck back in the pack all race long as they ultimately finished 28th.
- Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway took the green flag at 1:41 p.m. CST as Smith and the No. 95 Chevy rolled off from the 26th starting position to begin the 267-lap event. During the opening laps, the Tommy Williams Drywall Chevy improved to 22nd before Smith tagged the wall after being squeezed up the track as the field was jockeying for track position in the preferred lanes. The contact on the right-side of the car proved costly when just a few laps later, Smith was forced to hit pit road due to a flat tire from the contact. The unscheduled stop early in the race found the team fall several laps down the to the field and back to 38th.
- As the team worked to adapt their game plan for the race, Smith told crew chief Jon Leonard that the No. 95 machine continued to be loose and that he had “nothing to lean on” at the time. Green-flag pit stops began to cycle through the field starting around lap 38 as Leonard worked with his driver to get lap times that would allow them to try and stretch the team’s fuel windows. The race’s only unscheduled caution of the day came at lap 57 after the No. 24 car had motor problems, and when the race returned to green, Smith was running in 35th.
- Stage 1 ended following lap 80 as Smith had improved to 34th before the break. Under the caution, Smith told his team that the Tommy Williams Drywall Chevy continued to be loose and Leonard told his driver that the team was going to make adjustments to both of the rear wedge settings in order to help improve the rear downforce of their No. 95. Still three laps down to the leaders, Smith restarted in 35th to begin Stage 2.
- By lap 102, Smith keyed up on the team’s radio that the No. 95 Chevy was “loose on throttle and all over the place” while he also told the team that the adjustments had helped, but that he needed more of that same round of adjustments at the very least on the team’s next stop. Another round of green-flag pit stops began to cycle starting around lap 119, but the team continued to work on stretching their fuel window hoping to catch a break. On lap 129, Smith told his team “I have an aero nightmare on my hands right now” and the team assured him that they were nearing a pit window.
- On lap 141, the Tommy Williams Drywall Chevy came in for it’s green-flag pit stop for four tires, fuel, and a right-rear wedge adjustment. Stage 2 came to an end following lap 160 with Smith running in 31st at the time. As Smith told his team that his No. 95 machine was inconsistent over the run, the team opted to take the wavearound in order to get a lap back. Stage 3 took the green flag to start lap 167 with Smith in 30th.
- By lap 191, Smith was once again fighting a loose-handling race car even though he had improved to 28th at the time. The Tommy Williams Drywall Chevy came in for a four-tire stop on lap 209 as green-flag stops began to cycle after Smith had come in for service. On lap 226, Smith radioed in to the team “it started off ok, but once I get in another car’s wake, it’s just out of control.” The aerodynamic handling challenges stemmed from the damage early in the race and continued until the end. Even though the team worked hard to make adjustments all race long, the No. 95 left Kansas with a 28th-place finish.
- Chase Elliott drove off to the victory on Sunday after he was able to hold off Kyle Busch to earn his third win of the season. Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, and Martin Truex, Jr. rounded out the top-five finishers at Kansas while Smith was scored with a 28th-place run.
2018 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 32
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 1
Top 10's - 2
Poles - 0
First Data 500
Martinsville Speedway (0.526-mile)
Sunday, October 28th, 2018