Top Fuel driver Rhonda Hartman-Smith competes in her first semi-final round of the season at the 3rd Annual AC Delco Nationals RICHMOND, Va., June 8, 2003 -- Rhonda Hartman-Smith, driver of the FRAM Filters Top Fuel Dragster, competed in her...
Top Fuel driver Rhonda Hartman-Smith competes in her first semi-final round of the season at the 3rd Annual AC Delco Nationals
RICHMOND, Va., June 8, 2003 -- Rhonda Hartman-Smith, driver of the FRAM Filters Top Fuel Dragster, competed in her first semi-final match-up of the season against two-time IHRA Hooters Racing Series Top Fuel Champion, Clay Millican, at the 3rd Annual AC Delco Nationals at the Virginia Motorsports Park.
Hartman-Smith and Millican both made clean straight runs down the racetrack -- Millican took the win with a 4.69-second elapsed-time at 307 mph over Hartman-Smith's 4.88-second elapsed time at 283 mph. Hartman-Smith defeated opponent Bruce Litton the previous round of Top Fuel elimnations and posted the quickest pass of the weekend before Millican's 4.66-second final run pass against Rhonda's husband, John Smith. She swept the quarter-mile drag strip in 4.67-seconds at 300 mph over Litton's 4.88-second elapsed time at 291 mph.
"I'm really proud of our team and our performance the last two races," comments Hartman-Smith. "We made consistent competitive passes all weekend and progressed into our first semifinal round of Top Fuel competition this season," comments Hartman-Smith. "John and I were so close to racing each other in the final round -- something we are both were looking forward to. With Lance Larsen onboard as a team consultant to assist Virgil Hartman (team owner/tuner) with tuning responsibilities, I know we'll continue to progress and meet in the final round."
Hartman-Smith and her fellow teammate and husband, John "Bodie" Smith, both celebrated career-best accomplishments last weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago, Illinois. Smith posted his career-best speed of 325.77 mph and Hartman-Smith became the "Quickest Female on Earth" when she ran a career-best elapsed time of 4.56-seconds.
Both Rhonda and John raced each other three times during Top Fuel elimination rounds at three consecutive NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events this season. Rhonda and her FRAM Filters sponsored Top Fuel Dragster have a two-to-one lead over John's Prestone Products-backed ride. The couple's last head-to-head meeting was at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas -- Rhonda earned the win by one thousandth of a second (mere feet) with a 4.814-second elapsed time at 295 mph over John's 4.815-second elapsed time at 295 mph.
Hartman Motorsports is a family owned and operated automotive race team competing in the Top Fuel category of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Virgil Hartman is the team Owner/Tuner; daughter Rhonda Hartman-Smith drives the team's primary car (FRAM Filters Top Fuel Dragster) and son-in-law John "Bodie" Smith drives the second team car (Prestone Products Top Fuel Dragster).