ENNIS, Texas (October 11, 2003) - Veteran Rickie Smith, from King, N.C., took the No. 1 qualifying position for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, being held as part of this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Fall...
ENNIS, Texas (October 11, 2003) - Veteran Rickie Smith, from King, N.C., took the No. 1 qualifying position for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, being held as part of this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.
"The car's running good and we're making good calls with the clutch," said Smith. "The car has been running good all this year, it just hasn't been consistent. I'm disappointed about our performance in the Shootout (AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout, a special race-within-a- race). We had ignition problems, which caused us a chance at the big money. The good news was that after the run we found the problem and corrected it. We then came back and ran well. We'll go after them tomorrow."
Almost as newsworthy as Smith's top qualifying position is the fact that Fred Hahn, who holds the No. 1 spot in the DRO/NMM Pro Mod Cup point standings, and Mitch Stott, who is No. 3 in the point battle, did not qualify for this event. Hahn, who missed making the field by four thousandths of a second, has now DNQ'd for the second consecutive event.
Stott discussed the DNQ. "I've always said that I am the luckiest guy in the most unlucky situations. It was unfortunate that we didn't qualify, but neither did Fred Hahn. So we didn't lose any points to him. Lucky in an unlucky situation. It still leaves the point championship very much in our grasp," he said.
Eliminations will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. (CDT) with the following first round match ups: No. 1 Rickie Smith vs. No. 8 Scott Ray, No. 2 Shannon Jenkins vs. No. 7 Kirk Kuhns, No. 3 Thomas Patterson vs. No. 6 Mike Castellana and No. 4 Mike Ashley vs. No. 5 Tim McAmis.