You can forgive Regan Smith if he talked in sentences without subjects after winning Raybestos Rookie of the Year honours in the Cup Series.

Smith finished 34th Sunday, after rookie rival Sam Hornish Jr. failed to make the field in Friday's qualifying.

"Really excited about getting Rookie of the Year," Smith said. "It's a big deal. First driver from DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) to be able to get it. Not knowing what I'm doing next year, if I'm going to be part of the Ganassi-DEI thing (merger) or not.

"At least I've got that (the trophy) to take to them. Let (owner) Teresa (Earnhardt) put it in the trophy room. She gave me a great opportunity this year."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News