Smith leads underdog TBR to top 10 finish in Daytona 500

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Just a month after a controversial move to drop Alex Bowman for Regan Smith, Tommy Baldwin Racing’s decision paid off with an eighth place finish in the Daytona 500.

Smith, 32, started 27th in ‘The Great American Race’, rebounding from an early spin and keeping the single-car team in the fight on the lead lap. Following green flag pitstops with 45 laps to go, the No. 7 Golden Corral/Nikko Chevrolet drew within reach of the frontrunners.

As Denny Hamlin made his move to a race win, Smith made a move of his own to break into the top 10, coming across the finish line with TBR’s best finish in the Daytona 500.

TBR now has three top 10 finishes since 2011.

“It was a good, smooth day for us,” said Smith. “The car, other than the spin at the beginning, I don’t know what happened there, but I got on the brakes and it just spun out. It handled great all day long.

“All the guys at Tommy Baldwin Racing gave me probably one of the better handling cars I’ve ever had here. Once it came down to it in the end and we were able to get a little bit of position, and we got four tires and made the most of an opportunity on that last pit stop and it came to life. I’m proud of this team.

“It’s a small team. We work hard. Tommy pours everything he’s got into this race team. And we’ve got some great partners and great investors, and we’re going to work hard all year.”

Image: NASCAR Media Group

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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