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For Regan Smith, it’s Business as Usual at Chicagoland

For Regan Smith, it’s Business as Usual at Chicagoland

by July 19, 2014 0 comments

 Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

JOLIET, Ill. — Even though he is still in the running for $900,000 in the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash program, Regan Smith will treat this weekend’s EnjoyIllinois.com 300 just as he would for any other race.

Smith enters this weekend’s race at the Chicagoland Speedway as the points leader in the Nationwide Series – leading Elliott Sadler (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports) by eight and 13 points in the drivers’ standings, respectively. Heading into Chicagoland, Smith will have two competitions to focus on as he will look to both defend his championship lead and fend off Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing), Elliott Sadler (Joe Gibbs Racing), and Chris Buescher (Roush-Fenway Racing) in the Dash 4 Cash competition.

With so much at stake in the Dash 4 Cash, Smith was asked if he would change his driving style to improve his chances of becoming the highest-finishing Nationwide Series regular for the second week in a row and lock himself into the third round of the competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week.

“I really don’t change my driving style at all,” Smith said. “I could do, like, the old-school Mario Kart and turn around backwards and just clean everybody out and go finish the race. I don’t think you can change your style at all based on that. We’re racing for a championship too and you’ve got to find a very fine line of what’s going to be smart for the long-term but also what’s smart for that particular weekend.”

Smith stated that during last week’s race at Loudon he had the opportunity to make some more aggressive moves to further his standing in the race but passed on doing so – opting for a more conservative approach that would help keep his race car out of trouble.

At the end of the day, while the allure of $1,000,000 is certainly enticing for the current points leader – the allure of a championship trophy is much more appealing to the four-time series race winner.

“I said last week … I don’t think I’ll think about the money at all and it’s no big deal,” Smith continued. “I can guarantee you that we got down to about 40 or 50 to go and we weren’t having the day that we wanted but we were still ahead of the cars that we had to be ahead of for the Dash 4 Cash. I kind of thought about that and maybe could have pressed the issue on a couple spots at the end of that race and opted not to.”

“So you do think about it when it comes down to it at the end of the race, and I’m sure when it gets to that point maybe you will adjust accordingly if need be. But outside of that, we still have a big goal at the end of the year that we’re striving for more.”

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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