Regan Smith: Next stretch of Xfinity races could be critical

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 07:  Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet, speaks to the media during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 07: Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet, speaks to the media during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – With a second-place finish last Saturday at Iowa Speedway, Regan Smith moved closer to the top of the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings.

Fourth in points, Smith trails series leader Chris Buescher by 39 points, but Smith feels the next four events could be critical to his chances for a championship.

In a four-week stretch, the XFINITY Series races on three road courses — Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America — with a trip to Bristol’s high-banked short track between the latter two events. The way Smith sees it, no other series of races has as much potential to scramble the standings.

“These three road courses are going to be a wild card,” Smith told the NASCAR Wire Service before practice for Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN). “I think we all were prepared for that, we knew that. The interesting part is how the schedule’s laid out this year a little bit differently, with ‘em being back-to-back and almost back-to-back (in the case of Road America).

“You throw Bristol there in the middle there… Bristol’s always entertaining and a lot of crazy things can happen there. I think, after last weekend with some of the emotions getting a little high with guys, and coming into this stretch, it could be the most interesting stretch of our schedule, and it certainly could be an opportunity for someone like ourselves to gain a big chunk of points.”

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