Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; First Data 500
TRACK: Martinsville Sspeedway
DRIVER: Regan Smith
CAR: No. 95 WRL General Contractors Camaro ZL1
- NASCAR’s top series returned to Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the season’s second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event of the year at the track known as the “Half-Mile of Mayhem.” Tempers and brake rotor temperatures aren’t the only things that leave Martinsville at elevated levels since the track is known to create many heated battles. Regan Smith and the No. 95 WRL General Contractors team started the race from 27th, but an issue with power in their Chevy found the team having to pit under green for a new battery just before the halfway point of the race, and the move found the team fall back deep into the field. Despite the unscheduled stop, the team continued to fight the rest of the afternoon, and ultimately worked their way back into 28th before the end of the race.
- Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway took the green flag at 2:44 p.m. EST to begin the 500-lap event. Early in the run, Smith called in over team radio communications to crew chief Jon Leonard that the No. 95 Chevy was loose in, but that tightness in the middle was the biggest issue at the time. Smith was also lacking drive off in the WRL General Contractors Chevy. A caution at lap 44 allowed Leonard to bring his driver in for adjustments under the yellow, and the No. 95 took four tires, fuel, and several chassis adjustments on the team’s first stop of the day.
- Another caution came at lap 71, and once again Smith asked for help getting side bite into the WRL Chevy as he also told the team that he needed drive off. The team performed another four-tire stop with adjustments as Leonard told his driver “if we can get it to turn, the drive will come with it.” Smith lined up in 27th for the return to green to begin lap 77 with just over 50 laps remaining in the opening stage.
- Over the next run, Smith told the team that the last round of adjustments had seemed to make his race car “tighter rolling in the other direction.” The engine stalled out suddenly on lap 105, but Smith was able to get it re-fired after only falling back to 31st at the time. Stage 1 came to an end following lap 130, and under the caution the team discussing handling as well as why there may had been an issue with the voltage.
- The race returned to green to begin Stage 2 on lap 140 with Smith in 32nd at the time. Handling continued to plague the No. 95 team’s afternoon, but the day went from bad to worse on lap 228 when Smith radioed in to tell his team that the voltage was starting to quickly drop at the time. On lap 235, the WRL General Contractors Chevy once again shut off, but this time Smith had to gingerly coast the car back down pit road as the team was forced to replace a battery on lap 237 under green.
- Stage 2 came to an end following lap 260 with Smith scored in 36th at the time and eight laps down to the race leaders. The final stage of the race took the green flag to begin lap 270, but the No. 95 was mired back in the lineup as Smith continued to fight ill-handling conditions in his machine. A caution on lap 366 allowed the team a chance to pit for another four-tire stop with the WRL General Contractors Chevy, and Smith restarted in 31st. The team kept fighting for track position whenever possible as they kept themselves out of harm’s way to slowly improve positions one at a time in the final 130 laps. By lap 415, Smith had driven back into 29th as the team worked with him to save fuel and stretch their run until the end of the race.
- Joey Logano drove to the victory Sunday afternoon at Martinsville after battling with Martin Truex, Jr. for the lead in the closing laps. Denny Hamlin, Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers at Martinsville while Logano punched his ticket into the Championship battle with the win. Smith was scored with a 28th-place finish in the WRL General Contractors Chevy despite a challenging afternoon.
2018 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 33
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 1
Top 10's - 2
Poles - 0
AAA Texas 500
Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile)
Fort Worth, TX
Sunday, November 4th, 2018