Norwalk: Matt Smith Saturday notes

SMITH QUALIFIES NITRO FISH SUZUKI IN FIFTH IN NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle into the No. 5 spot in the final of four qualifying sessions for the NHRA Nationals at...

SMITH QUALIFIES NITRO FISH SUZUKI IN FIFTH IN NORWALK

NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle into the No. 5 spot in the final of four qualifying sessions for the NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park today, posting his quickest pass of the weekend of 7.058 seconds at 188.91 mph.

In the three previous rounds, he struggled with the bike's performance, with the crew replacing the engine twice. His runs included an 8.990/99.12 (No. 16), a 7.097/186.92 (No. 7) and a 7.13/183.42 (No. 9).

"This Nitro Fish Suzuki has just not had a good weekend," said the 2007 Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. "In the first run yesterday the oil pump quit working. It just shorted out and that totally seized up the motor.

"This is our third motor in four rounds and It still wasn't right. It was still fluttering and carrying on out there in every gear (in the final session). But this one will be fine; we just have to get a tune-up on it now. We have to get all the bugs out and hopefully all these issues will end and we'll be going fast again.

"We ended up fifth, but we left a lot on the table. We could have made six-second laps here, but I don't know if we could have gone a 6.94 (set by polesitter Andrew Hines in a Harley-Davidson).

"Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) tells me everything in the motor is the same as what he's always had, so we're not sure what the problem is. One good thing about having the Countdown coming up is we don't have to worry about it so much right now because everything will go back to almost zero come Indy." The Countdown to 1 for the top 10 on points begins following the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis.

"The Don Schumacher Racing crew guys worked hard and we're going to work hard tonight to get this thing right," added Smith. "But, for now, we're going to get us some of this Norwalk 'dollar a pound' ice cream.

Smith faces Junior Pippin the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , Don Schumacher , Matt Smith