SUZUKI RIDER SMITH FINISHES U.S. NATIONALS IN THE QUARTERFINALS INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 7, 2009) - No. 1 Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifier Matt Smith was off to a great start at the 55th annual U.S. Nationals at Raceway Park at Indianapolis, an event...
SUZUKI RIDER SMITH FINISHES U.S. NATIONALS IN THE QUARTERFINALS
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 7, 2009) - No. 1 Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifier Matt Smith was off to a great start at the 55th annual U.S. Nationals at Raceway Park at Indianapolis, an event he won in 2006.
Riding the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki for Don Schumacher Racing, he first dismissed Junior Pippin in the opening round with the second quickest pass of that stanza, a 6.984-second lap at 188.86 mph, then met up with Douglas Horne in the quarterfinal round.
Horne torched the starting lights with a .008 reaction time (.000 is perfect), leaving Smith to try to make up for his .111 light at the finish line, which he was unable to do, ceding the round win to Horne's 7.164/182.55 pass with his 7.106/184.47.
"The Nitro Fish Suzuki team gave me a great bike this weekend," said a disappointed Smith, who's reached three finals in his career at this historic event. "We came in here No. 1 qualifier, we were the first and second quickest bike basically every round this weekend.
"There's no reason I should've been that late. I went up there to go .05 or .06 on the tree and let the Suzuki do the work, like it has all weekend, and I didn't do my job. I feel bad for Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief), I feel bad for (crew guys) Jason (Jones) and Tom (Patsis), Don (Schumacher) and (Nitro Fish owner) Kenny Koretsky, all of them.
"Steve and the Nitro Fish Suzuki crew have made great headway in getting this Suzuki to perform on the track against the dominant Harleys, and I know they will continue to improve on that. It's a tough class, no doubt about it, and we all have to be on our games 110 percent at all times, and that includes me, if we're going to win our first race this season.
"We're in the Countdown, so now it's time to concentrate on winning the championship." The Countdown to 1 playoffs for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class will be contested in five of the final six NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races, beginning with the Charlotte event, Sept. 18-20.