When it comes to NASCAR racing, guys like Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne tend to hog the spotlight. But that changed this weekend, at least for a couple of days, when Regan Smith and the Denver-based Furniture Row team took their first checkered flag at the Southern 500 Sprint Cup in Darlington, S. C. “I don’t really know how to put it in words right now—it is so surreal,” says Smith (team website). His previous best finish was seventh in this season’s Daytona 500, the opening race of the year.
The smaller NASCAR teams don’t usually win, and Furniture Row’s victory is only the fifth time a single-car team has prevailed in a Cup race since 2000 (Sporting News). Smith came painfully close to a win in October 2008, when he was driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., but race officials claimed he dipped below the yellow out-of-bounds line as he passed Tony Stewart. Unfortunately, Smith’s recent win is being overshadowed by a post-race scuffle between Kevin Harvick and Busch, which involved thrown punches and one driver slamming another’s empty car out of the way (Associated Press).