Darlington Von Smith Post Race Report

DARLINGTON, SC - Defending Pro Funny Car Champion Von Smith, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, saw his career-best string of 17 round wins come to an end at the 2000 version of the season-opening IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals in Darlington, SC. The...

DARLINGTON, SC - Defending Pro Funny Car Champion Von Smith, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, saw his career-best string of 17 round wins come to an end at the 2000 version of the season-opening IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals in Darlington, SC.

The successful run of victories that started at the Epping, New Hampshire event last September, was still intact until three-time champ Smith faced four-time champ Mark Thomas in the second round of eliminations.

Smith qualified fourth for the event with a best effort of 5.935/236.88, one spot ahead of Thomas. He outpaced Canadian Herb Rogers in the first round, and rolled to the line against Thomas with his eye on round win number 18.

When the tree went green, however, Smith's Nitro Fish-sponsored 2000 Pontiac Firebird immediately launched into severe tire shake. Smith attempted to pedal the car, but as he nailed the throttle again, the car started to get sideways, and Von wisely got out of it.

So Smith's tally sheet is clean once again, but don't expect that situation to last for long. He carries a big pencil, and is real anxious to start ticking off those winning numbers again. Starting the new string at Rockingham would suit him just fine.

The next event on the IHRA tour will take place April 7-9, at Rockingham Dragway for the Holley Spring Nationals.

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Von Smith