Von Smith Wins...Exclamation Point! Veteran Driver Claims Sixth Win Of 1999 At Budds Creek. BUDDS CREEK, MD.--- With the championship already secure, Von Smith has resorted to smashing his own personal barriers. The veteran flopper pilot from...
Von Smith Wins...Exclamation Point! Veteran Driver Claims Sixth Win Of 1999 At Budds Creek.
BUDDS CREEK, MD.--- With the championship already secure, Von Smith has resorted to smashing his own personal barriers. The veteran flopper pilot from Oak Ridge, Tn., slam-dunked the competition at the EXPRESS Auto Parts.Com President’s Cup for his sixth victory of the 1999 season. He bettered his previous best of five wins last season. Smith did not afford the competition any slack at the onset of qualifying. He came out loaded for a tremendous lap, but he overestimated the capabilities and shook the tires violently. He aborted the first lap and coasted through with a 10.44 elapsed time. The second session afforded an improvement though he was apparently running the wrong clutch combination as the Pontiac labored to run a 6.30/237.73.
Smith found himself in unfamiliar territory going into the final qualifying session. He was on the bump spot and in serious danger of falling out of the field. Crewchief Howard Moon rectified the situation and his driver had all the ammo he needed to jump to the top of qualifying with a 5.95/233.68. Smith opted to sit out the evening session. He ended qualifying in the second position and had to face Fredrick Tigges in a rematch of the recently completed PARTS PRO North American Nationals in Epping, NH.
The end result was the same as Smith dealt Tigges from the program with a tremendous 5.945/235.97 in that match.
He had an easy go of things in the second round Rusty Bechtel was unable to make the quarter-final call. Smith soloed to a 5.904/238 lap, which was the quickest lap of the round. His semi-final match was no cakewalk as he match up against last season’s series runner-up Scott Weney.
Both drivers launched hard, but it was Smith muscling out the win by a 5.91 to 5.99 margin. Smith met up with fellow multi-time champion Mark Thomas in the finals of Pro Funny Car. It was a superb driving job for the defending World Champion as he stormed past Thomas for a 5.929/238.01 to 6.010/233.16 decision.