January 25, 1999 Von Smith Enters World Championship Defense With New Sponsor And Determined Attitude OAK RIDGE, TN -- IHRA/Snap-On Tools, Alcohol Funny Car World Champion Von Smith has a lot to look forward to when the 1999 season begins....
January 25, 1999
Von Smith Enters World Championship Defense With New Sponsor And Determined Attitude
OAK RIDGE, TN -- IHRA/Snap-On Tools, Alcohol Funny Car World Champion Von Smith has a lot to look forward to when the 1999 season begins. The two- time champion from Oak Ridge, Tn., will begin his title defense in March with a new major sponsor adorning his Pontiac Trans-Am. Smith's Poncho will carry the livery of the Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce & Spices Co.
Big Daddy's CEO Dan Lloyd feels that his Oklahoma City, Ok., based company has found a great marketing avenue through both Smith and the International Hot Rod Association. He says, "From the time I met Von and his family, I was impressed. He is a class act and conducts himself equally in all of his business and racing affairs. I like the whole family. The program that he presented before me with IHRA Championship Drag Racing as the focal point was a factor in our decision."
Smith was equally excited about entering into a new marketing partnership with Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce & Spices. The former Top Dragster competitor added, "Mr. Lloyd and the Big Daddy's staff are second to none. We hope to exhibit the right stuff both on and off the track to help them sell their product. That is our number one goal. To sell their product and that can only go hand in hand with winning races. I cannot convey enough thanks to them for giving us the opportunity to serve them."
Big Daddy's will reap the rewards of a winning program with the signing of Smith. He, along with a talented crew led by Snap-On Tools award winning crewchief Howard Moon, reached seven final rounds and emerged victorious in all but two. While many contended that they backed into their 1996 title, there was no confusion in 1998.
In an article written by Matt Davis in Drag Review Magazine, he was quoted as saying, "There were those that said we backed into the 1996 title. That's wrong because we earned it and to say such a thing really robs my crew of the respect the deserve for helping me to achieve such a feat. This year, Howard and the guys came in and were determined that we were going to bury the competition. We did just that and it proved to be our best season ever."