Baytown: Matt Smith Saturday notes

MATT SMITH RIDES NITRO FISH SUZUKI TO NO. 3 IN HOUSTON QUALIFYING BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2009) - Under cool and windy conditions today at Houston Raceway Park, last year's Houston champion Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Suzuki Pro Stock ...

MATT SMITH RIDES NITRO FISH SUZUKI TO NO. 3 IN HOUSTON QUALIFYING

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2009) - Under cool and windy conditions today at Houston Raceway Park, last year's Houston champion Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to No. 3 in qualifying for the NHRA Spring Nationals.

With only three rounds of qualifying completed to set the 16-car field after moisture on the track cancelled last night's session, Smith pulled out a stout 6.939-second lap at 192.96 mph in his third and final try, setting him up for a first-round matchup against Junior Pippin in Sunday's eliminations rounds. His two previous runs produced a 7.057/187.96 (No. 7) and a 6.995/192.58 (No. 3).

"The first day we missed the tune-up a little bit," explained Smith. "I think the clock started and we didn't and it gave us a bogus time. First run today on Saturday we just went after it too hard. It shook, spun, did everything wrong at 60 ft. and we were second quickest down the back half of the track.

"We came back, we pulled the motor out, checked everything, changed some gear ratios and came back for this last pass. It was good; it just drifted to the wall and I couldn't get it back. But we were second for the round again, so I think we'll be fine going into Sunday.

"The wind today is a factor. It is pushing me around everywhere, and it's very unstable out there. But you have to adapt to it and try to do the best you can.

"We'll be all right. This Nitro Fish Suzuki is going to be ready for tomorrow."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matthew Smith