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Smith, making his third straight final round appearance of 2016,

powered his late model IDG Chevy Camaro to a 5.873-second

pass at 248.48 mph to defeat Kevin Fiscus' 6.072 at 243.50 in

his 2012 Ford Mustang. 

Smith, who won at the season-opening Gatornationals and posted

a runner-up finish two weeks ago in Houston, tallied his 10th

career victory. As the No. 1 qualifier, Smith outlasted Gerry Capano, Doug Winters and Steve Matusek en route to the final round against Fiscus. Smith is the points leader.



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Smith Races to Victory at NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Event

Rickie Smith raced to his second victory of the 2016 season on Sunday during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. This weekend's Pro Mod racing is

co-presented by Pro Line Racing and FuelTech. This is the third

of 10 Pro Mod events on the 2016 season.

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Doorslammer legend “Tricky” Rickie Smith secured his first

championship in Professional Drag Racers Association

(PDRA) Pro Nitrous after making his way to the winner’s

circle at three events in 2015. The championship marks

Smith’s tenth overall during a remarkable racing career that

has spanned four decades.

The iconic racer from King, North Carolina took home top honors at the PDRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway in April, the PDRA North-South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway in July, and finally PDRA Dragstock XII at Rockingham Dragway in September.

Smith’s Jerry Bickel-built, IDG-backed 1969 Camaro relied on power, durability, and consistency from Pat Musi Racing Engines to win the championship. Smith also used electronically fuel injected Musi engines to win back-to-back NHRA Pro Mod series titles in 2013 and 2014.

“The importance of having Rickie on board with us can’t be overstated,” Pat Musi said. “No one has more experience running a fast door car than Rickie, and that experience is critical to our overall engine program. When he goes out and wins these races and championships, it doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s the best out there and all of us here at Pat Musi Racing Engines want to congratulate him and his team on another championship.”

Though he has flirted with retirement after each of the last two seasons, Smith’s recent success has kept him coming back for more. Smith hasn’t yet made any indication of his plans for the 2016 racing season, but it’s a safe bet the 61-year-old competitor will be back for another title defense.


Rickie Smith secured his third NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series championship by qualifying for the series event during the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is the final NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series race of the 2016 season and is presented by Aeromotive Inc.

Smith, who won the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series championship in 2013 and 2014, raced to a strong start of the season to propel himself to the series crown. In his IDG ’15 Camaro he opened the season with a win at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornational in Gainesville, Fla., defeating Danny Rowe in the finals. He raced to a runner up finish at the next event in Houston and won the third race of the season at Atlanta. He most recently raced to a runner-up finish in St. Louis. He was also the No. 1 qualifier at two events.

“We only have 10 races and when you only have 10 races you can’t get

behind as it is hard to catch up,” said Smith. “Luckily, we got off to a heck of

a run this year. We went to three finals and won two of them and that got us

a good cushion. We kept making rounds and just trying to be consistent on


“I was going to retire three years ago because I was ready. But you hate to quit when you are winning and doing this good. I know I’m going to have to quit one day but you can always quit, but you can’t always keep winning.”   here.


Smith's late model IDG Chevrolet Camaro powered to a

performance of 5.829 seconds at 249.86 mph to hold off Rowe's

Agave Underground Tequila '68 Chevy Camaro that raced a 5.869

at 233.76. It was Smith's ninth victory and second at Gainesville

Raceway. He was runner-up here in 2014. 

Smith took out Steven Whiteley, last year's Gatornationals champ,

Mike Castellana, and Chip King to meet Rowe in the finals. 

Rowe, who qualified 15th, was looking for his fifth career victory and first at Gainesville. He defeated Robert Patrick Jr., Steve Matusek and former Pro Stock driver, Jonathan Gray in the earlier rounds. Rowe was runner-up behind Khalid alBalooshi here in 2011. 

The Pro Mod Drag Racing Series returns April 29-May 1 at the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston. 

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Fortunately, the native of King, N.C., a multi-time champion on both the NHRA and IHRA pro tours, didn't have to look far to find a capable surrogate. 

His son, Matt, twice the NHRA World Champion in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class (2007 and 2013), will shed his leathers for a firesuit for one weekend only and join another second generation racer, Jonathan Gray, in pursuit of the only Spring Drags Pro Mod title contested at the quarter mile distance.

While Matt will assume his dad's ride in the "red Camaro," Gray, the son of former NHRA Funny Car tour winner Johnny Gray, brother of recent NHRA Gatornationals Pro Stock winner Shane Gray and uncle of last week's Las Vegas Pro Stock winner, Tanner Gray, will pilot RSR's "blue Camaro." Both cars are capable of 5.70 second performance at the quarter mile distance.

Although Smith and Gray will race at the traditional drag racing distance, there will be equally intense competition on the one-eighth mile course where champions will be crowned in Outlaw Pro Mod, Insane Pro Mod and Extreme Pro Stock Motorcycle as well as Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Top Bracket and Top and Pro Jr. Dragster.

As for "Tricky Rickie," he'll settle for playing the role of advisor and cheerleader along with Matt's wife, the former Angie McBride, an accomplished professional motorcycle racer in her own right having won a 2014 NHRA tour event at Epping, N.H.

Meanwhile, the elder Smith, who at 63 is the second oldest racer ever to win a major NHRA championship (after John Force, who was 64 when he won the Funny Car title in 2013), is doing whatever it takes to get back to what he loves most.

Twice he's tried to walk away. Both times he's failed miserably, leading him finally to declare that he's just going to keep on going until he can't go anymore. And a little back surgery is no big deal. 

Rockingham Dragway, there'll be a world champion behind the wheel - but it won't be Rickie Smith.

Recovering from recent back surgery, the three-time and reigning NHRA Pro Mod Champion was told not to lift anything heavier than three pounds and, while it wasn't specifically mentioned, that order apparently includes wrestling a 2,500 pound, 250 mile per hour hybrid race car down a quarter mile racetrack.  here.Type your paragraph here.


Two-time world champion Rickie Smith outran Danny Rowe in the final round to win the NHRA J&A Services Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Sunday at Gainesville Raceway. This weekend's Pro Mod racing, co-presented by Pro Line Racing and Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Inc., is the first of 10 events on the season.

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Smith's Rockingham Pro Mod Bid Gets A Little 'Tricky'
Courtesy of Steve Earwood

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - When the all-conquering IDG Chevy Camaro rolls to the starting line for the first time at this week's (April 7-8) ADRL Spring Drags at