Pomona II: Matt Suzuki Saturday notes

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH QUALIFIES FIFTH IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle into No. 5 in qualifying for the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals today, posting his quickest...

SUZUKI RIDER SMITH QUALIFIES FIFTH IN POMONA

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle into No. 5 in qualifying for the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals today, posting his quickest pass of 6.963 seconds at 192.30 mph earlier today.

His previous runs on Thursday and Friday produced a 25.174/66.14 (No. 21) and 7.077/187.03 (No. 13).

Smith was on a stout run in his final attempt today until something broke on the bike at the 1000-foot mark of a 1320-foot race track, resulting in a 7.126/163.29 lap, earning him the fifth spot.

He will face Jim Underahl in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

"We were on a pretty good run," Smith said of the last pass. "We finally got our 60-foot (increment) around. We struggled with that all weekend. We've been fighting the track just like a ton of people are. There's just not a lot of grip up there. We've been having to adjust the bike to what the track's telling us, and we've been making a lot of changes.

"(Crew chief) Steve Tartaglia has been doing an awesome job getting the clutch and the tune-up right," added Smith, who is fourth in the point standings and has a chance to move into third place to end the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. "We made a good pass this morning with a new motor in the bike and we went to the No. 3 spot. We saw a lot of improvement. We felt like we could improve in that final pass, but something happened, we don't know what yet.

"We'll get ready, we've got plenty of bullets here and Steve will tune it up to go fast tomorrow."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matthew Smith , Steve Tartaglia