Matt Smith captures his first career win at Indy Ellis advances to the quarterfinals CLERMONT, Ind. (September 5, 2005) -- In the second final round of his career, Matt Smith rode his Red Line Oil G Squared S&S-powered...
Matt Smith captures his first career win at Indy
Ellis advances to the quarterfinals
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 5, 2005) -- In the second final round of his career, Matt Smith rode his Red Line Oil G Squared S&S-powered Buell to a win over Steve Johnson at the 51 annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
En route to the final round Smith turned back Chris Rivas, Chip Ellis and Matt Guidera. In the final round Smith caught Johnson at the finish line to capture his first career win.
Matt Smith, 32, from King, N.C., is the son of veteran Pro Stock (car) driver Rickie Smith. He began racing Pro Stock Motorcycle in 1996. His first final round came at Memphis last season when he finished runner-up to Antron Brown.
"Friday was the first time I even sat on this Buell," said Smith. "I knew immediately after that first pass that I had a bike that could win it all. I appreciate the opportunity that George Bryce and George Smith of G Squared gave me this weekend. To win the U.S. Nationals is awesome and a one of the kind experience. I know I'll never forget it.
"I want to also thank Mac Tools and Mike Ashley's Gotham City Racing for their support."
Chip Ellis and Matt Smith, both aboard G Squared S&S Buells, set their sights on the most sought after prize on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -- a Wally, emblematic of winning this weekend's NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
In the opening round of eliminations, Ellis turned back Mike Berry. On a picture perfect Chamber of Commerce day, Ellis blazed the Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) quarter-mile in 7.109 seconds, easily outdistancing Berry's 7.301 run.
While Ellis was sending Berry packing, Smith won over Chris Rivas, also on a Buell. Smith overcame a .001-second reaction time by Rivas, running an elapsed time of 7.207 seconds to turn on the finish line lights.
This paired Ellis and Smith in round two.
On a holeshot, Smith overcame a pass of 7.139 seconds by Ellis. Smith turned an advantage of 38 hundredths, coupled with an elapsed time of 7.162 seconds, into a win. Smith's margin of victory was about four feet (.0157 of a second).
Smith moved into the semifinals against the Buell of Matt Guidera.
Guidera's red light in the semifinal round sent Smith into the final round against Steve Johnson. Smith had lane choice by virtue of his 7.178 second run against Guidera.
Johnson got out first at the green and it took every inch of the IRP track for Smith to run him down but the power of his S&S engine did the job. Smith's margin of victory was one ten thousandth of a second.
"I hesitated at the light because I didn't want to red light," said Smith. "Fortunately, I didn't throw away the win. Since George (Bryce) teaches us to focus on a spot at the end of the track, I didn't know where Steve (Johnson) was. I hear it was close at the finish line."
NEXT RACE: After a weekend off, G Squared Motorsports move to Maple Grove Raceway, near Reading, Penn., for the Toyo Tires Nationals, which unfolds September 15-18.