Gainesville: Matt Smith Saturday notes

MATT SMITH COLLECTS HIS FIRST NO. 1 FOR DSR AT GATORS GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Matt Smith maintained the No. 1 spot he earned in Friday's Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying rounds through two more today to claim his first No. 1...

MATT SMITH COLLECTS HIS FIRST NO. 1 FOR DSR AT GATORS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Matt Smith maintained the No. 1 spot he earned in Friday's Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying rounds through two more today to claim his first No. 1 qualifier for Don Schumacher Racing, his first at the Gatornationals, and the 15th of his career.

The rider of the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki posted his quickest pass, a 6.945/189.44, right out of the box on Friday, then followed that up with a 7.051/183.92 and the only six-second run on Saturday under warmer conditions, a 6.999/186.61 in the third session, and finally a 7.071/181.81.

Smith faces Ryan Schnitz in the opening round of Sunday's PSM eliminations.

"This thing is a rocket ship," he said at the top end. "I'm excited to be on it.

"We have a good Nitro Fish Suzuki this year and for this race. This thing is pretty awesome. We tried something on the Q4 there. We figured we would use it as a test session and we're learning from it. It bogged down there pretty bad and it bogged down there when I put it in sixth gear. All in all, a very good day for us."

Before joining DSR, Smith had raced Suzukis earlier in his career as well as Buells more recently. "To come back to a [Suzuki] team that is this good has made my job easy just to come over here and ride," he said. "One pass and I was back on stride for stride on the Suzuki. It's been pretty easy.

"I don't know about what the rules change is going to do with the Harleys this year. If everybody had the same thing as last year they're all close. It's just how good you ride it and how good the tune-up is, and who makes the best lap in the quick session. And we did that yesterday.

"I'm looking at the computer and talking with Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) and throwing ideas up to him and telling him what I feel on the bike that the computer doesn't show," added Smith referring to his no longer working on the bikes he races, "so I'm not physically hands-on doing anything but, besides that, it's all good, I'm more relaxed."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ryan Schnitz , Matthew Smith , Don Schumacher