St. Louis: Matt Smith Saturday notes

SMITH NO. 4 IN ST. LOUIS, BEHIND TWO HARLEYS, ONE BUELL MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2009) - Matt Smith pushed the Nitro Fish Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to the No. 4 spot in qualifying for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway, making it...

SMITH NO. 4 IN ST. LOUIS, BEHIND TWO HARLEYS, ONE BUELL

MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2009) - Matt Smith pushed the Nitro Fish Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle to the No. 4 spot in qualifying for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway, making it the highest-qualifying Suzuki behind the dominant Harley Davidsons of Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec. Hector Arana's Buell came in third.

Smith's quick pass of 6.927 seconds at 191.16 mph was no match for the Harleys' 6.860/192.14 (a national record) and 6.907/190.62. However, he feels that Arana's 6.921/190.14 was right on par with the Suzukis.

"These Harleys were given all the rules advantages in the world to make new motors this season," said Smith, the class points leader by virtue of consistently strong results in eliminations in the first three events of the year and the 20 bonus points earned for the national record of 6.865 seconds he set in Houston.

"In the last three races Harley has been outrunning everybody almost two hundredths (of a second) in just the back half of the quarter-mile. And if you ask any Pro Stock car guys, that's 30 horsepower more than everybody else. And we can't run with that. It doesn't matter how good a run we make to the eighth mile we can't run with that in the back half.

"For the conditions, we're the top Suzuki," added Smith, who earned the No. 1 spot at the season-opener in Gainesville, Fla. "Hector made a flawless run out there it looks like, and he nipped us I think by five thou. Right now we're running for No. 3 and 4, because 1 and 2 is tied up and we can't run with them right now."

Smith's first pass on Friday was a 6.965/190.46, good for No. 2. After Friday's second session was rained out, he held that spot through today's second session, posting a 6.935/189.66.

He faces Steve Johnson in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , Steve Johnson , Matt Smith