Dallas: Matt Smith Saturday notes

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH SOARS TO NO. 4 IN TEXAS QUALIFYING ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 26, 2009) - Riding the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle for Don Schumacher Racing, Matt Smith soared to the No. 4 spot in qualifying for the NHRA Fall...

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH SOARS TO NO. 4 IN TEXAS QUALIFYING

ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 26, 2009) - Riding the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle for Don Schumacher Racing, Matt Smith soared to the No. 4 spot in qualifying for the NHRA Fall Nationals today at Texas Motorplex, earning two bonus points along the way.

Smith, sixth in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings, benefited from NHRA's new bonus points system for qualifying during the playoffs by posting the second quickest pass of 6.944 seconds at 191.21 mph for No. 4 in the third round today. In the final try, he posted another solid 6.989/192.14, keeping himself in fourth place. Track temperatures between the two sessions varied from 106 to 128 degrees.

His two attempts on Friday resulted in a 7.040/188.62 (No. 6) and a 7.003/190.11 (No. 6).

"It's been a while since we've had all these positives coming into eliminations," said Smith. "We have the Nitro Fish Suzuki running really good. Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) and the guys have done a fantastic job. We swapped motors last night. That was our plan coming into here.

"We wanted to run one motor on Friday and run another motor on Saturday and pick the best one for Sunday. We haven't done that all year, and that's what we did this time and, so far, it showed that it was the right thing to do.

"We were second and fourth quickest of the sessions today and we qualified fourth. Were very happy, we're very excited and we're ready for tomorrow.

"Everything is good on this engine, and I think we will be in very good shape. We ran 192 mph in that last round. We got a little too aggressive with the clutch that time, it spun the tire, shook a little bit, and we lost 500ths (of a second) at the eight-mile from the previous pass, but we picked up on the back. So, if we get both of them together tomorrow we're going to be really fast."

Smith faces Junior Pippin in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matthew Smith , Don Schumacher