Las Vegas II: Matt Smith Saturday notes

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH SNARES NO. 3 IN VEGAS QUALIFYING LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to a solid third place in qualifying for the ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The ...

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH SNARES NO. 3 IN VEGAS QUALIFYING

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to a solid third place in qualifying for the ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Smith earned five qualifying bonus points for his effort: two on Friday evening, when he posted a 7.000-second pass at 190.48 mph, the second-quickest of the round, and his best of the weekend; and three in the final qualifying session when he set the round's quickest pass of 7.058/187.76. Except for his opening attempt of 7.045/184.85, which was good for No. 5, he remained No. 3 through the end of qualifying.

"We got three bonus points, so everything is good," he said of his final attempt, despite getting slightly out of the groove. "(Crew chief) Steve (Tartaglia) is happy. We made a good run. I think we have a little bit more left if we go straight. I don't know if it's me pulling the bike. I know the first round today I pulled the bike left and we got out of the groove and I shut it off and we were like top of the page on our numbers until I shut off.

"We knew we were going to run fast if we just went from A to B today and it showed up that last run. Yesterday we were nice and straight both runs so we were a little off only today," added Smith, who is fourth in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings. "Of course, that was my fault in the first run today, and this last time it went a little bit right, so maybe I corrected a little too much.

"I don't think we've had a wind issue at all yet. There was kind of a head wind both runs today, that's why the times were slower than yesterday.

"Everything is good. We'll focus on tomorrow and have a good night's sleep, get us some dinner and come out here ready tomorrow and try to win us a race."

Smith faces Larry Cook in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Smith