Ryan Smith Scores Two Wins and a Top Ten in Fort Wayne "Rumble"
KUNKLETOWN, Penn. -- January 3, 2008 -- Ryan Smith added a pair of notches to his belt in the Rumble at Fort Wayne last week, scoring a pair of slingshot feature wins and a top ten in the Midgets feature.
Taking the No. 55 S&S Speedways slingshot to fourth starting position in the first night's feature, the 2007 ARDC Rookie of the Year had his sister Shannon sitting beside him in third on the grid. The brother and sister pair went on to finish one-two, using his preference for the outside line to sweep into the lead. "That was special, finishing one-two with my sister," he reported on the race.
Saturday's slingshot race was a near mirror image of Friday's, with Ryan taking the win, again using the outside line to his advantage over the field.
The Friday night 600cc micro sprint Consi race ended early when the No. 2rs Tresch Motorsports car, racing in Smith's debut on the track in the class, suffered a blown engine. The sudden end to the evening was a disappointment after qualifying ninth out of the 55 cars present. He moved up through the field in the micro sprint heat to finish third, earning the third spot in the Consi starting grid. The team swapped engines before leaving the track that night, preparing the car for Saturday's racing action.
With only five laps in practice, he qualified eighth in the only PMP chassis present. An attempt to get the chassis adjusted better for the indoor track conditions went awry, leaving "The Kunkletown Kid" with a badly oversteering car. In spite of this handicap, he finished fourth in the heat. His qualifying time put the No. 2rs car on the pole for the third Consi, a position he held to the finish, spanking the field and ensuring a slot in the feature. Battling from a 13th starting position, he battled some of the best racers in the country to a tenth place finish in the Tresch Motorsports' debut race.
Next up for the Pennsylvania teen racer is the famed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa, Oklahoma. "We're leaving for Tulsa for the Chili Bowl Sunday," he reported. "Our goal is to qualify for the A-Main." This is a tall order, with 275 cars entered. "Hopefully, we'll finish in the top four (in his heat race) and get locked in. If not, we'll work through the alphabet soup," he grinned. "We're in the same heat with Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, but they're just another car on the track," he commented. With his talent and the efforts of his Burke Trucking team, Smith is looking forward to racing in Tulsa.
Following the Chili Bowl, he heads back to the East Coast for the Atlantic City indoor slingshot races. He has swept the class in both of the last two years and is looking forward to attempting the hat trick with his third consecutive win.
After the early-season races, "it's just waiting for the season to start," he sated. "We're hoping that USAC will bring the old Silver Crown cars back," as the team has a car waiting in the wings for that possibility.
Smith is being helped in his career by training from Future Stars in Racing Academy.