Von Smith Stampedes To Runner-Up At IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals BRADENTON, FL-- Sometimes being greatly favored can be the worst thing for a competitive driver. One might tend to get lazy on the line or get extremely paranoid...
Von Smith Stampedes To Runner-Up At IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals
BRADENTON, FL-- Sometimes being greatly favored can be the worst thing for a competitive driver. One might tend to get lazy on the line or get extremely paranoid about getting the late jump out of the gate. Von Smith pleads guilty to the latter. The veteran, Pro Alcohol driver fouled in the finals of the IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals in Bradenton, Fl.
Smith was definitely ahead of the contingent in the early rounds of qualifying at the IHRA/Amalie Oil Nationals. During the first session of qualifying on Friday, he blistered the competition by running a 5.990/235.41, effectively securing the top spot. He failed to improve in his Big Daddy's-sponsored 1999 Firebird during the remaining sessions and ended up in the fifth spot.
His qualifying status paired him opposite Robert Atchison. The Oak Ridge, TN., -based, Smith had an outstanding run of 5.966/235.6, to easilly handle his opponent. Smith met up with Scott Weney and defeated his arch-rival during the second round of eliminations. He furiously rattled the tires and managed to win with an ugly 6.550/222.33
Smith matched up with the low qualifier Mark Billington and he too felt the wrath of the defending World Champion. Von ran his quickest e.t. of the weekend with a 5.964/235.54 to send Billington, who drives one of his former cars, packing.
The final round whittled down to Smith and Monty Todd, from Montgomery, AL. With the pressure mounting, a proverbial trigger-happy Smith wound up jumping the light, thus handing the championship over to Todd.
Smith plans to continue on his trek to winning another championship with his Big Daddy’s-backed 1999 Pontiac Firebird at the IHRA Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, N.C., on April 9-11. Smith, along with each Pro Alcohol Funny Car contestants, will be afforded four qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest sixteen will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates and times TBA in an upcoming issue of the IHRA’s Drag Review magazine