NHRA record-holding Top Fuel couple sweep NHRA and IHRA top ten.
POMONA, Calif., November 9, 2003 -- Rhonda Hartman-Smith, driver of the FRAM Filters Top Fuel Dragster and fellow teammate and husband, John "Bodie" Smith, driver of the Prestone Products Top Fuel Dragster, earned premier top 10 positions in the Top Fuel category among both the National Hot Rod Association and the International Hot Rod Association organizations.
Rhonda, who has been competing in the Top Fuel category for ten years, earned the # 10 NHRA points standing position as well as the # nine spot within the IHRA Hooters Racing Series. John, who began dabbling in Top Fuel competition in 1998 and began his first full-time season in 2002, secured the # 8 position in NHRA Top Fuel top 10 and the # eight spot on the IHRA circuit.
"What an accomplishment for both of us," comments Rhonda Hartman-Smith. Hartman-Smith continues, "This has been a season full of good times as well as humbling moments. We are looking forward to building on this foundation and achieving even higher goals next season."
Rhonda earned the "Quickest Female on Earth" title earlier this season at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Chicago, Illinois where she ran a 4.560-second elapsed time and re-established her title at the CARQUEST NHRA Nationals (also in Chicago) with a 4.523-second pass. She participated in her first IHRA event since 1997 and enjoyed two runner-up finishes at the 33rd annual IHRA Nationals and 8th annual IHRA World Finals (both in Rockingham, North Carolina). She improved her career-best speed -- 323.66 mph -- at the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas as well.
John experienced numerous "first's" this season including a career-first final round match-up at hometown race, the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. He earned two runner-up titles on the IHRA circuit including the Inaugural IHRA Amalie Oil Texas Nationals in San Antonio, Texas and 3rd Annual ACDelco Nationals in Richmond, Virginia. This top 10 driver posted career-best's including a 4.540-second elapsed time (O'Reilly Spring Nationals) and 325.77 mph run (Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals). He also participated in the prestigious Budweiser Shootout at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, California.
The Top Fuel Couple raced each on five occasions in both NHRA and IHRA eliminations -- Rhonda has a 4-1 lead over her husband. They entered the NHRA record books last season as the first husband-and-wife team to earn top 10 positions in a professional category.
Hartman Motorsports is a family owned and operated automotive race team competing in the Top Fuel category of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) POWERade Drag Racing Series. 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).