Las Vegas: Von Smith race report

Smith rolls the dice and come up short for second weekend in a row LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Von Smith knew that he needed to outlast Division 2 rival Jay Payne at the inaugural ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, when the next to...

Smith rolls the dice and come up short for second weekend in a row

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Von Smith knew that he needed to outlast Division 2 rival Jay Payne at the inaugural ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, when the next to last event on the NHRA Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series national scene ended, the Jensen Audio-sponsored driver from Oak Ridge, Tenn., gave it all he had. Fate just wasn't on his side this day.

Smith trails Payne in the Division 2 Federal Mogul Funny Car with one national event left on the schedule.

Smith entered eliminations for the Las Vegas-based event as the third qualifier with a 5.755, 249.35.

In the first round of eliminations, he overcame a holeshot from an upset-minded Bernie Harrington. Harrington smoked the tires and Smith went on to win with a 5.830, 246.30.

His quarter-final berth was an easy one as Steve Harker rolled the beams early with a .393 and that turned out to play into Smith's advantage as he rattled the tires and lifted. Harker wasted a 5.847, 245.54.

The semis matched Smith against Payne and gave him the match he'd hoped for. Neither driver managed to get down the track in the previous round, but Payne gained the lane choice. Smith was quicker out of the gate, but his 5.815, 248.57 fell short by .008 of winning the match.

Just one week earlier in Dallas, Texas at the O'Reilly FallNationals, Smith was in the same position that he entered Vegas in. This time, he qualified second with a 5.718 252.52. He made quick work of Richard Shaver in the first round with a 5.680, 252.80, his best run of the weekend.

He then allowed Kirk Williams to gain a slight starting line lead, but soon tracked him down for the win with a 5.682, 252.18.

In the semi-finals, Smith met up with Pat Austin and the results didn't end up to his liking. Austin was slightly quicker on the starting line, and Smith's 5.788, 249.16 just wasn't enough to score the victory.

-HSC-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Harker , Jay Payne , Von Smith , Kirk Williams , Bernie Harrington
Teams Williams