Reading: Matt Smith final report

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH GOES TO QUARTERS IN READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 23, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to a quarterfinal finish today at the 25th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. First round of...

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH GOES TO QUARTERS IN READING

MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 23, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to a quarterfinal finish today at the 25th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

First round of Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations was delayed by over four hours because of water seeping onto the track surface. When the surface was dried, Smith rolled out and defeated Shawn Gann in the first stanza with a 7.028-second elapsed time at 189.60 mph.

He then met up with Hector Arana in the second round, but fouled out to him, posting a 7.081/186.95 nonetheless, which was disqualified. Arana took the win with a 6.980/189.87 and moved past Smith in the point standings, dropping him to fifth place. One event remains before the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin following the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend. Pro Stock Motorcycles will compete in five of the final six races of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for the championship.

"It was a long day. It was a long day for the fans and it was a long day for the crews, the drivers and crew chiefs,” said Smith.

"It looks like we turned the corner, we have things back running again and now something else came up and bit us. We don't know what happened, why it slowed down. We lost vacuum for some reason, but the motor checks out OK.

"As a driver, I pushed the tree too hard. My mistake. I can't blame anybody but myself, because Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) let me do the clutch this weekend. I've been setting everything, we've been really good, I think, and we've been working on things." Smith became a hired rider this year with Don Schumacher Racing after several years of tuning his own motorcycles, so he's happy to get his hands dirty again, he said.

"We'll go to Indy for the U.S. Nationals and we'll see what we can do there and get everything right. Meanwhile, we're going to change motors here tonight, get everything ready and we're going to drive all day tomorrow back to Indy and we'll test there on Tuesday.”

Next up is the 55th annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, on Sept. 4-7, 2009.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Gann , Don Schumacher , Matt Smith