Posted on: May 7, 2013
The entire Southeast was rain soaked the first weekend in May, and Talladega was no different. While the race kicked off on time, rains gradually made their way into the area and put the race under a red flag. Track drying commenced and racing resumed to bring an end to the 2013 Aaron’s 499.
Regan Smith was behind the wheel of the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet sponsored by Hendrickcars.com. Although we started in 34th position, at a place like Talladega that doesn’t matter much. It’s how well you race and how well you avoid the big one that determines your finish position.
Regan did an awesome job which started off with he and Dale Jr. #88 working together on the high side of the track by lap 10. The momentum was in the lower groove around Talladega Superspeedway.
Around lap 23 the first caution came out and this gave the team a chance to adjust on the #51 Chevy. They changed right side tires and added two rounds of wedge to help with what Regan reported to be a loose condition.
Lap 42 brought out the caution for a multi car wreck that involved 14 cars, however, Regan carefully drove through without a scratch. The team took on four tires and made an air pressure adjustment to return to the track in 3rd position.
By lap 103, Regan reported that water was pushing out from the car, but using his driving skill, he quickly used another car to remove whatever debris was caution the high water temperature issues.
When the rains came at lap 125, Nick Harrison, crew chief for the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, decided to pit for two tires, added some water, and fueled the car. Others stayed out thinking the rain may shorten the race, but the team wisely pitted, netting them a top starting spot after the red flag when everyone else pitted.
As the race came to a close, Regan found himself in the lead with just a handful of laps to go. However, as in any restrictor plate race, you sometimes don’t stay there for long. Regan maintained his composure and brought the #51 home to a solid 6th place finish after starting 34th.
The team heads to Darlington to hopefully enjoy some dry weather and celebrate Mother’s Day weekend in victory lane!