MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Regan Smith’s season hit a high note at Michigan Int’l Speedway last June.
His win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ Alliance Truck Parts 250 was Smith’s second of 2013. It put him 58 points ahead of his closest competition in point standings.
As the series returns to Michigan this weekend, Smith has his sights set on doing what he didn’t do last year, post-Michigan: Win races.
The driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports team saw a mix of misfortune and missed setups derail his championship hopes.
He’s focused on making the second time the charm when racing for the Nationwide title.
“The things you can control (when bad luck happens) is making sure you don’t let it slip into a bigger problem,” Smith told SPEED SPORT. “There were moments last year, some in the summer and some in the fall, where I thought we got a bit desperate. If we can cut that desperation out, then we’re in a lot different situation when we come to Homestead (for the season finale).”
Smith holds a four-point lead over Elliott Sadler as the circuit returns to Michigan on Saturday.
Smith’s JRM teammate, Chase Elliott, is just 22 points behind.
It’s shaping up to be another close championship battle, but one Smith hopes will end with the Cato, N.Y. native hoisting the trophy in November, not finishing third.
He has one win this year (at Daytona Int’l Speedway in February), but consistency is the name of Smith’s game.
He’s finished in the top 10 in all 12 races this season, something no other driver can say.
Not that Smith is the boastful type. He’s just found ways to transform subpar runs into strong finishes.
Smith had turned lemons into lemonade before the season even began.