SMITH RIDES NITRO FISH SUZUKI INTO FOURTH TO COMPLETE 2009 NHRA SEASON POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) - Matt Smith, rider of the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki, ended his first year with Don Schumacher Racing in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag...
SMITH RIDES NITRO FISH SUZUKI INTO FOURTH TO COMPLETE 2009 NHRA SEASON
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) - Matt Smith, rider of the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki, ended his first year with Don Schumacher Racing in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series claiming fourth place in the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship.
With high hopes of winning his first national event for DSR at this weekend's 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, Smith had to settle for a first-round finish when something broke on the bike as he neared the finish line.
Facing Jim Underdahl in the opening round, Smith was on a winning run, but was defeated by Underdahl's 7.059-second pass at 191.29 mph when he slowed to a 7.413/147.29.
"Everyone on the Nitro Fish team went up there with a goal to win our first race for DSR," said Smith, the 2007 PSM world champion. "We had a good bike and we thought we could win the race. We put in a new motor in for the day and it didn't fare out.
"I had an .05 light, I was right where I wanted to be. We were already ahead before 330 feet (of 1320) and something broke. We don't know what yet.
"It gives Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) a lot of stuff to do over the winter because he's got a lot to fix, it looks like. I feel bad for him because he builds very good stuff and it's dependable stuff and it really stinks to have problems like this, especially at the end of the year.
"We wanted to finish on a high note, or at least do the best we can, and yet we lose first round and we have another hurt motor.
"We'll go to the banquet with our fourth-place finish and stand up there knowing we worked hard this year. We'll come back strong and motivated for DSR next year and see if we can win a championship.
"We're glad it's over. Everything will start at zero in 2010."