Atlanta: Don Smith finals report

COMMERCE, Ga. (Sunday May 6) - Don Smith, driver of the Texas Harley-Davidson Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, entered eliminations at the 21st Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals holding the fourth position on the eliminations ...

COMMERCE, Ga. (Sunday May 6) - Don Smith, driver of the Texas Harley-Davidson Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, entered eliminations at the 21st Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals holding the fourth position on the eliminations ladder

Smith's first round opponent was the number 13 qualifier Mark Whisnant. Smith ran a 7.518 / 180.21 mph to defeat the red lighting Whisnant. Whisnant ran a 7.589 / 178.87

In Round 2 Smith was matched against Taylor Lastor. On paper Smith had the performance advantage, but on the track it was another story. Lastor took the advantage at the starting line, and maintained his lead all the way to the finish line. Lastor ran a 7.562 / 178.68 mph to defeat Smith with a quicker 7.513 / 180.33 mph.

"I can't seem to get my confidence behind the wheel back," said Smith. "I went up to the starting line with the mind set that I was going to beat him, instead of relaxing and driving the truck like it was a qualifying pass. I need to be more relaxed behind the wheel so I won't beat myself.

"The only way to rebuild my confidence as a driver is to go up there and let the clutch out, so I guess we will try and do some testing before we go to Topeka. I need the seat time, and we need to get up to speed with this new motor.

"We are very glad to go to the second round today. We would have liked to have gone a little farther, but we will work on that.

"We have good power and a good truck, if we can get the driver to come around we could get to a final before too long. Maybe we could do that in Topeka."

The next stop on the Pro Stock Truck schedule will be the 13th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Topeka, Kan. May 24-27.

-DSR

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