Memphis: Von Smith race report

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Von Smith is not about to give up when it comes to winning an NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car national event. Already a Federal Mogul Funny Car All-Star, a national event victory is the missing piece to the puzzle that will compile a...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Von Smith is not about to give up when it comes to winning an NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car national event. Already a Federal Mogul Funny Car All-Star, a national event victory is the missing piece to the puzzle that will compile a dream 2001 season.

Smith, 38, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., fell on round short of attaining his goal in NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car competition as he wheeled the Jensen Audio Pontiac to a runner-up finish at the NHRA AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

"I'm not in the least bit frustrated," explained Smith. "We are fighters and we don't give up that easy. This race is complete and we'll leave it here. We'll come out the next time and try to snare the win. We want to win one for Jensen Audio because they deserve it. They have been good to us."

Smith began eliminations from the second spot with a 5.727, 249.58.

In the first round of eliminations, Smith matched against Warren Dauzat's Precision Equipment-sponsored Oldsmobile. When Dauzat failed to show, it gave Smith an automatic trip to the quarter-finals. Smith was over the track, but he captured the win with a 5.733, 248.25.

The second round was another cakewalk for Smith as he gained another solo when Todd Simpson failed to show. Smith kept pace and posted a winning 5.744, 249.53.

Smith's bid for a national event championship continued to build momentum as he matched up with Steve Gasparrelli. The former IHRA World Champion jumped on Gasparrelli and led him all the way to the finish line with a 5.728, 249.95, which easily eclipsed a 5.778, 251.30.

In the final round, Smith was so close to his first national event title that he could taste it. He outreacted opponent Frank Manzo, but his 5.730, 250.18 was just not enough to fend off a quicker 5.680, 252.05.

-www.jensen.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Manzo , Von Smith , Todd Simpson