Regan Smith finished 12th Saturday night at the Kentucky Speedway. The problem was the two drivers he is chasing in the standings, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Austin Dillon, finished ahead of him. To be exact Dillon finished second and Hornish was fourth.
Which means Dillon gained 11 points and Hornish nine points on Smith. That’s been the story of Smith’s season, his first with JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. He was able to grab the points lead with a victory at Talladega in race number eight. That’s where he stayed until a 13th place finish at Chicagoland ten races later.
A 19th and 11th the races after Chicagoland don’t seem bad on the outside, but that lead to him finishing fourth at Watkins Glen and dropping to third place.
A tough outing at Mid-Ohio and Bristol (15th and 21st) put him down to fourth in points. He’s been able to dig out of there with a 9th at Atlanta and 3rd at Richmond, but again that was followed up with a 13th at Chicagoland, and a 12th Saturday.
Consistency is something that Smith and his team have lost from the first half of the year. With only six races to go and 45 points to make up, Smith is going to have to be on his game here on out. The good news is three out of the six races he finished in the top-10 the first time around at those tracks.
The next opportunity for Smith to take a chunk out of the points is this weekend at the Dover International Speedway. The 5-Hour Energy 200 can be seen live at 3:30 PM EST on ESPN2.