NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge driver Von Smith has Houston ties BAYTOWN, Texas (April 14, 2004) - This weekend the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, moves to Houston Raceway Park as the NHRA O'Reilly...
NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge driver Von Smith has Houston ties
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 14, 2004) - This weekend the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, moves to Houston Raceway Park as the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil unfolds April 15-18.
One Pro Mod driver who wants to stand out among his peers this weekend is Von Smith. Although Smith, driver of the Tommy Lipar Racing-owned supercharged Pro Mod, is from Oak Ridge, Tenn., he has several ties, through his car owner and sponsors, to the Houston area.
LGI Developments, a land developer, home builder and mortgage company, headed by CEO and President Tom Lipar, is the primary sponsor on the Pro Mod driven by Smith. LGI has developed communities north and south of Houston and inDallas.
Both LGI Development and Tommy Lipar Racing are based in Conroe, Texas.
Additionally, Angel Bros. Construction and Century Asphalt Materials have signed on for 2004 as an associate marketing partner on the Tommy Lipar Racing 2004 Ford Mustang GT.
Both Angel Bros. Construction and Century Asphalt Materials are under the leadership of partners and brothers Glenn and Greg Angel, who along with the Gay family are the principals behind Houston Raceway Park.
In the final four events of the 2003 season, the 40-year-old Smith was the hottest driver on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge but after a slow start at the 2004 Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., the former alcohol Funny Car driver admits that there are some added pressures when racing in front of the hometown group.
"You want to do a good job in front of all the people that give you the opportunity to race," said Smith, "and Houston is the place to do that. You want to get into the show and go rounds and give it 110 percent. You want to know at the end of the day, even if you don't win, you have given those who support you the best this team has to offer.
"This is a sport where you must be on your game at all times and here in Houston we want to do exceptionally well. That's where the pressure comes from. That's also the reason that we've been testing. We want to insure that we do well, not only here but throughout the remainder of the season.
"While, talking about Houston. I want to welcome all those associated with LGI Development and to Angel Bros. Construction and Century Asphalt Materials, who joined us as a marketing partner for 2004. For myself and the Tommy Lipar Racing team we'll do our best to make you proud."
This is the second of 10 scheduled events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge. Pro Mod qualifying gets underway on Friday with two sessions scheduled for 3 and 6 p.m. Two additional qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday. The eight quickest Pro Mods make the field. Eliminations for all classes begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday. All times are CDT-- local Houston time.