Baytown, Texas - - With a pass of 6.892 seconds at 198.70 mph, Rickie Smith, driver of the KPK Motorsports Pro Stock Camaro, owned by Pro Stock campaigner Kenny Koretsky, qualified third at the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston...
Baytown, Texas - - With a pass of 6.892 seconds at 198.70 mph, Rickie Smith, driver of the KPK Motorsports Pro Stock Camaro, owned by Pro Stock campaigner Kenny Koretsky, qualified third at the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. Smith was unable to better yesterday's second pass in the final two sessions today.
"This is a momentum builder for the team," said Koretsky. "Rickie (Smith) had four consistent passes. This coupled with the fact that he (Smith) won here in the fall races gives us hope that we can go rounds during tomorrow's eliminations. It would be a real shot in the arm to our program if we can put the KPK Motorsports Camaro in the winner's circle.
In the opening round on Sunday, Smith will face Pro Stock newcomer Brad Jeter, who is competing in only his second NHRA Pro Stock race. Jeter, from Greenville, S.C., recently moved up from the Pro Stock Truck class and is a former IHRA Pro Mod competitor. He qualified 14th with a run of 6.925 seconds at 198.12 mph.
"This Pro Stock field is stout from top to bottom. Only 45-thousandths of a second separate number one from number 16. No round is a gimme," said Smith, 46, from King, N.C. "Jeter may be new to Pro Stock, but he is a driver that knows how to win. We'll have to be on the top of our game tomorrow."
Smith has recorded two career wins in eight final rounds including a victory here at Houston Raceway Park in October of 1999 at the Matco Tools SuperNationals.
KPK Motorsports, with Rickie Smith at the wheel, plans to run all remaining races on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series for 2000. The team will also field a second car at selected NHRA events. Car owner Ken Koretsky, 42, of Richboro, Penn., will handle the driving duties on the second entry.