Memphis: Matt Smith Monday final report

SMITH TAKES NITRO FISH SUZUKI TO SEMIFINALS IN MEMPHIS MEMPHIS (Oct. 5, 2009) - Matt Smith and the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle team are relishing their resurgence in performance, which was evidenced today at the NHRA ...

SMITH TAKES NITRO FISH SUZUKI TO SEMIFINALS IN MEMPHIS

MEMPHIS (Oct. 5, 2009) - Matt Smith and the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle team are relishing their resurgence in performance, which was evidenced today at the NHRA Mid-South Nationals with his strong semifinal finish at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Smith, who qualified No. 2 for the event, held on Monday after Sunday's eliminations were rained out, first defeated Redell Harris in the opening round with a stout 6.928-second pass at 192.30 mph. He then was given a gift when Douglas Hope broke in the other lane in the second round and Smith rolled to a 6.940/190.22 lap.

In the semifinal round he met up with Eddie Krawiec, one of Smith's Harley-Davidson nemeses, and put his best effort forward (.023 reaction time versus .029), only to be beaten at the finish line by Krawiec's 6.929/192.03 to his 6.944/191.10.

He briefly moved up to third place in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings, only to slip back to fourth when Michael Phillips won the event.

"We've had a great last two races in this Nitro Fish Suzuki," said Smith, who also was a semifinalist at last week's event in Texas. "We just can't seem to get past the semifinals and get over that little hump. We just need to get that lucky break. That's what it takes. One time if we get past it I think we'll be in good shape.

"We have a fast bike, we're good. I left on Eddie, I was ahead of him, and he just drove around us.

"We're very excited, we're very happy. Probably Mike Dunn (ESPN2 reporter) can count us out now. With two races to go, we're below the 'line.' We're going to go for second or third place in the championship.

"All in all, we're all right."

Next up for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class is the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 29-Nov. 1.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Dunn , Redell Harris , Michael Phillips , Matt Smith , Eddie Krawiec