Regan Smith, who lost last October's Talladega race because he took the charitable course of action as he approached the finish line, didn't have a chance to redeem himself Sunday after his car sustained damage in the first major wreck of the afternoon, on lap seven.

Though Smith got to the finish line first last year, NASCAR penalised him for passing below the yellow line on the final lap and demoted him to 18th (Tony Stewart got the win).

Though he was a victim of the early wreck, Smith finished to 15th Sunday but never was a contender for the win.

"We suffered damage to the nose of the car on that first wreck, and it was a battle from that point on," Smith said. "We lost our aero package, and (the car) wouldn't suck up in the draft. The pit crew did an excellent job fixing the front-end as best as you could.

"But we just couldn't overcome the damage and produce the speed that you need at this track. We came into the race thinking we could contend for the win, but considering the problems we were faced with early, it wasn't a bad result to finish 15th. We're a little down right now, but I guess it could have been worse, since we were real close a couple of times (to) getting knocked out of the race."
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News

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