Commerce: Von Smith post race

COMMERCE, Ga. - Von Smith has been on a tear for much of the 2001 Federal Mogul Funny Car season and that's why many jaws were left agape after the first round during the NHRA Division 2 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event in Commerce. The...

COMMERCE, Ga. - Von Smith has been on a tear for much of the 2001 Federal Mogul Funny Car season and that's why many jaws were left agape after the first round during the NHRA Division 2 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event in Commerce. The former World Champion, who pilots the lethal Jensen Audio Pontiac, drifted out of shape in his first round battle against Mark Billington and took out a cone, automatically disqualifying him.

The scenario was not the norm for Smith of Oak Ridge, Tenn., who won two Funny Car Championships under the IHRA sanction and was this season's Federal Mogul All-Star conqueror. However, he points out that the alcohol-burning machines can sometimes be a bit to handle, even if you are a successful driver.

"You can make hundreds of thousands of runs down the dragstrip, but you are only going to be able to do what that car will let you do," explained Smith, who is in his first full-time season with the NHRA. "We had a good one going, but things just didn't work out right and the car drifted. I would like to say that I could have prevented it, but I will just say that it wasn't meant to be on this day. This is just one race and there will be more opportunities this year to win."

Smith, who entered eliminations as the second quickest (5.813, 245.95), nailed Billington to the tree off of the line with a holeshot that measured over a tenth of a second. He looked to be on his way to a victory when he took out the eighth-mile cone. Billington had problems of his own as he broke and slowed to a winning eight-second run.

The recently announced Car Craft All-Star finalist proclaims his sponsor's motto, "If it's too loud, then you're too old," and proudly recommends that you visit their website at www.jensenaudio.com.

-hc

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Series NHRA
Drivers Von Smith