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Matt Smith Part of NHRA History in Monday Finals

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Motorcycles
Topics:  Matt Smith, Auto Plus NHRA Nationals

About Matt Smith:
Matt is the 2007 NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion and a multi-event class winner. The native of King, N.C., has won some of the most prestigious races in the series, including the U.S. Nationals and the inaugural 4-Wide Nationals in Concord, N.C., his home track. He is the team owner and tuner for his wife, Angie, and is the son of legendary racer/tuner Rickie Smith. Matt is also the brother-in-law of NASCAR/F1/IndyCar driver Scott Speed. In his spare time, Matt enjoys scuba diving, paintball, jet skiing, coaching his son, Tristan's, soccer team, and building motorcycle engines.

Matt Smith Part of NHRA History in Monday Finals

Brandon W. Mudd
Highside Media
October 3, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd


READING, Penn.: The good news for Matt Smith is he finally corrected the engine issues he's been struggling with in recent weeks, made the finals at the Auto Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, and made the quickest pass of his NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle career (6.795 seconds). The bad news is that Hector Arana Jr., his opponent in the rain-delayed finals that eventually ran Monday, was just a little quicker with a 6.781 second ET. Together, they both made history running the fastest PSM side-by-side pass in NHRA history.

The finals appearance puts Smith, the 2007 class champion, in third place in the Countdown to 1 behind Arana Jr., and Eddie Krawiec with three races left on the schedule. The native of King, N.C., has renewed confidence in his Haltech/Red Line Synthetic Oil/Affliction Buell with the engine woes finally behind him. "We thought the issue was with the crank," he said after the event. "Turned out, it was a problem with the gear. We fixed that and ran our quickest lap ever. I'm ecstatic.

"I think we have a shot of winning the Countdown to 1. I don't know what else I could've done today to beat (Arana Jr.). I could've been better on the tree (.064 to .038), but the bike did what it needed to do. Now we have to get some rounds back and earn some points. We need to start running better in qualifying to get bonus points to really have a shot at another title."

In his march to the finals, Smith defeated Jim Underdahl, Matt Guidera, and Jerry Savoie, respectively. In the semi-finals against Savoie, Smith also ran a 6.795 second lap.

The trek to a possible second title hasn't been easy for Smith, especially after losing a primary sponsor following a win in Englishtown (N.J.) earlier this season. Fortunately, he's found partners who are excited about being a part of an NHRA championship team. "I can't thank Mark Stockseth, Haltech, Red Line Synthetic Oil, Afflication Clothing, and PJ1 enough," said Smith, a 13-time winner in the PSM class. "Speed isn't cheap and we've done a pretty good job on a shoestring budget but having a great group of sponsors like I do gives me confidence that Matt Smith Racing can celebrate another title in Pomona."

The NHRA Full Throttle Series has this weekend to recuperate from the extra day at Maple Grove. MSR and the rest of the NHRA return to action Oct. 14-16 at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. For ticket information, click HERE.

Fans of Matt Smith can find updates and photos of Matt Smith Racing at MattSmithRacing.com, Facebook.com/MattSmithRacing, and Twitter.com/MattSmithRacing. Videos of Matt and Matt Smith Racing can be found at YouTube.com/MattSmithNHRA. For information regarding sponsorship opportunities with Matt Smith Racing, please e-mail MattSmithRacing@yahoo.com.

For more information on HighSide Media, its programs, and its clients, visit HighSideMedia.com. You can also follow HSM at Twitter.com/HighSideMedia and on its official page on Facebook.


About HighSide Media
Founded in 2007, HighSide Media has represented some of the top drivers, teams, facilities, sponsors, and sanctions in American motorsports. HighSide Media provides public and media relations for racers at every level with tailor-made programs for every budget. Pass YOUR Competition on the HighSide.

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