STANTON, MI.-Over the past two months, the Von Smith-Scott Weney rivalry could be dubbed the IHRA Summer Heat Series. The two have been going at it hot and heavy. Smith beat Weney at Grand Bend and Cordova, while Weney returned the favor when...
STANTON, MI.-Over the past two months, the Von Smith-Scott Weney rivalry could be dubbed the IHRA Summer Heat Series. The two have been going at it hot and heavy. Smith beat Weney at Grand Bend and Cordova, while Weney returned the favor when the tour stopped at New York International Raceway Park in this race prior. The latest confrontation, however, was less than a classic, coming during the rescheduled CARQUEST Northern Nationals finals Saturday night, but the two-time defending Funny Car champion will gladly take it. The Tennessean piloted his Atomic City Tool-Nitro Fish Trans-Am down the Mid-Michigan Motorplex quarter-mile in 6.892 seconds at 150.88 mph. Weney, who struggled with his car, was credited with no time. He had trouble holding the track with his car skating around the centerline, and Smith had to lift to keep his race vehicle from becoming a joint venture with Weney's Corvette.
Smith laughs when looking back on the encounter.
"I'm going to blunt, but a change of underwear was definitely in order," laughed Smith, who had an excellent view of Weney's trouble in the treacherous left lane. "This is part of racing and Scott is no different than I am to push his ride to the edge. That's what builds a champion. I had my own share of problems. When you're making a run and a bump knocks your hands off of the steering wheel, then there's problems. That could have very well been me in the same position that Scott was in." The victory was important for Smith, who came into this event chasing Weney for the IHRA.com Funny Car points title. He didn't overtake Weney, but he pulled closer. Smith opened Saturday's eliminations by taking Mike Preslar with a nice run, posting a 5.932/239.74 to a 12.500/61.99. Smith produced the meet-best elapsed time run in the second round against Steve Ruda, a 5.881/241.87 to 6.248/191/65. The two left together, but Smith soon pulled away, extending his lead all the way down the track. Adam Szeler was the decided underdog against Smith in the third round, and his luck ran out against Smith, breaking on the burnout. Smith, though, put down another strong pass at 5.908 at 239.93 mph. Smith will continue his chase of Weney to regain the funny car points lead next week during the Mopar Parts World Nationals at Norwalk (Ohio) Raceway Park.