Joliet: Don Smith preview

JOLIET, Ill. (Pre-Race) - Don Smith, driver of the Texas Harley-Davidson Chevrolet S-10, arrives in Chicago for the running of the 4th Annual Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals hot off his first Pro Stock Truck win in Topeka last weekend. "I...

JOLIET, Ill. (Pre-Race) - Don Smith, driver of the Texas Harley-Davidson Chevrolet S-10, arrives in Chicago for the running of the 4th Annual Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals hot off his first Pro Stock Truck win in Topeka last weekend.

"I still haven't come down form cloud nine," said Smith of Keller, Texas. "Winning in Topeka last weekend still hasn't sunk in yet. There is no better feeling than winning. We want to keep that feeling going, and keep winning.

"It is very difficult to win in this class. Because this class is so competitive, they say that anyone can win on Sunday. I think we showed last weekend that it is true; that anyone in this class can win at anytime. But you're only as good as your last run, so we are going to Chicago and will try to just qualify.

"We won last weekend, and it sounds funny to say, but we feel like we never made a good run all weekend. We wanted to do some testing before we went to Chicago, but the weather will not permit that, so we will have to test there.

"Last year Chicago was the start of some real problems for us. We started having clutch problems here. That problem we could not solve until this winter. That is a long time to struggle and we do not want to go through that again. We did not qualify here last year and had difficulties for the rest of the season. So, qualifying well and making a good showing this weekend will be important to this team.

"We are going to shoot for the number one qualifying spot again this weekend. We lost it last weekend to Bob Panella on mile per hour. Sonny (crew chief Sonny Ray) would really like to have one of those white Holley Number 1 qualifier hats before the end of the season. Coming off the momentum that we built in Topeka, I think that is possible.

"We had a very good race last weekend and left Topeka feeling good about that town. We want to leave Chicago feeling the same way. We will give it our best shot, and maybe Chicago will be our new favorite town."

Qualifying at the 4th Annual Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals begins on Friday June 1, and continues on Saturday June 2. Eliminations will take place on Sunday June 3 at 11:00 AM EST.

-DSR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella