Darlington Raceway: Regan Smith Captures His First Career Sprint Cup Victory While “Boys Have At It”- Round Two

May 7, 2011 No Comments

Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR

Regan Smith shocked the NASCAR world on Saturday night at Darlington, earning his first career Sprint Cup series win. Smith opted to stay out while the leaders took two tires and was able to make it through two restarts, including a Green-White-Checkered finish.

Smith was able to hold off Carl Edwards after taking the white flag despite a mishap on the backstretch where Smith scraped the wall coming out of turn two. Smith recovered quickly and held on to the lead all the way to the checkered flag.

“There were a lot of emotions. I was trying to get them all out at that point so I didn’t show it too much on TV there. But I couldn’t help it. It’s Mother’s Day weekend.

My mom is not here. She’s in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She left Thursday, about the same time I left to come down here, to help out with the recovery efforts and save some animals down there. She’s down there doing that. She’s always been there for all my wins, all my races, everything. She doesn’t miss too many of them. To not have her here, that got me choked up a little.”

Smith was not the only driver left emotional following Saturday night’s race.

Following the race, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch got in to a confrontation at the entrance to pit road. Harvick was unhappy with Busch due to a wreck involving the two drivers and Clint Bowyer, bringing out the caution which setup the Green-White-Checkered finish.

Harvick came to a rest on pit road directly in front of Busch, giving him no where to go but backwards. Unfortunately, Busch’s reverse was broke and he was unable to avoid an unhappy Harvick. Harvick unstrapped, exited his car and immediately headed to confront Busch (who was still sitting in his car). Busch pinned the throttle, pushing the unmanned No. 29 Chevy out of the way, sending it into the pit wall.

“He (Harvick) wanted to get out of his car I guess and wanted to fight. I knew that wasn’t going to be a good situation and when I saw him getting out of his car, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good situation. My choices were limited, I was either going to get punched in the face and then wait for Harvick to get back in his car for me to go or just drive through his car and push it out of the way so I could get out of there and try not to get hit or anything like that.

“I made a judgment call there and it wasn’t one of the best choices that I had,” said Busch.

Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler to talk the situation over. No penalties have been handed out as of 2:37 PM EST.

Brad Keselowski finished in the third position, which is the best finish of his 2011 season and the highest finish by either of the Penske drivers in a points race. Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five.

Here is the complete results from Saturday’s SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway:
1. Regan Smith
2. Carl Edwards
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Ryan Newman
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Tony Stewart
8. Greg Biffle
9. Jamie McMurray
10. Martin Truex Jr.
11. Kyle Busch
12. Jeff Gordon
13. Marcos Ambrose
14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
15. Jimmie Johnson
16. David Reutimann
17. Kevin Harvick
18. Bobby Labonte
19. Mark Martin
20. A.J. Allmendinger
21. David Ragan
22. Paul Menard
23. Juan Pablo Montoya
24. Dave Blaney
25. Matt Kenseth
26. Travis Kvapil
27. Kurt Busch
28. Ken Schrader
29. Landon Cassill
30. Casey Mears
31. Clint Bowyer
32. David Gilliland
33. Jeff Burton
34. Brian Vickers
35. Joey Logano
36. Tony Raines
37. Robby Gordon
38. T.J. Bell
39. J.J. Yeley
40. Mike Skinner
41. David Stremme
42. Joe Nemechek
43. Michael McDowell

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