RICKIE SMITH POWERS TO PRO MOD VICTORY AT HEARTLAND NATIONALS
Rickie Smith drove to victory Monday during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service portion of the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Summit Racing Equipment is the fourth of 12 events this season.
Smith ran a 6.262-second pass at 233.52 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro to take down the No. 1 qualifier Chad Green in the final round and earn his second victory of the season and 13th of his career. Smith defeated Harry Hruska, Shane Molinari and Todd Tutterow on his to the win.
“I’m just glad we won the thing,” Smith stated. “I think every round we had to work for it. Everybody was tough competition. You hate to start watching points, but when you start getting going you hate to give any round up. As a driver I have to try the best I can.”
LAST MINUTE SPONSORSHIP MATERIALIZES FOR RICKIE SMITH
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TRICKY RICKIE WINS 2018 NHRA PRO MOD SEASON OPENER IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
SMITH WINS NHRA PRO MOD EVENT AT THE SUMMERNATIONALS IN ENGLISHTOWN
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Smith ran a 5.804-second pass at 208.01 mph in his ’18 Chevrolet Camaro to defeat Jeremy Ray in the finals. This is Smith’s third victory this season and 14th of his career.
“This win just goes to show you the depth on our team,” Smith stated. “We’ve got a really good team if I can just keep on going and not screw up.”
E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series continues at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Point standings (top 10) following the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the seventh of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
1. Rickie Smith, 539; 2. Mike Janis, 521; 3. Chad Green, 389; 4. Mike Castellana, 385; 5. Khalid alBalooshi, 377; 6. Todd Tutterow, 342; 7. Jose Gonzalez, 338; 8. Steve Jackson, 336; 9.
Jeremy Ray, 297; 10. Danny Rowe, 288.
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SMITH VICTORIOUS IN PRO MOD AT SUMMIT RACING NATIONALS
Photo Courtesy of RPM: Pro Mod
Rickie Smith secured the Wally during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Sunday afternoon. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by J&A Service, was the seventh of 12 events this season.
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Rickie Smith powered his IDG ’15 Camaro to victory on Sunday during the NHRA J&A Pro Mod Drag Racing Series at the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Aquaball, was the sixth of 12 events this season.
Defending world champion Smith faced the No. 1 qualifier, Troy Coughlin, in the final round. Smith posted a winning time of 5.884-seconds at 247.93 to the trailing time of 5.882 at 255.29.
"It's just awesome to come back,” Smith stated. “People can like me or not like me; I race hard, I work hard, and I've got God on my side. That's all that matters to me."
Final round-by-round results from the 48th NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the sixth of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
ROUND ONE -- Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 5.853, 248.48 def. Danny Rowe, Chevy Corvette, 9.786, 110.15; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.899, 121.65 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, Foul - Red Light; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.788, 256.55 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.873, 240.38; Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.818, 234.61 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, 8.947, 109.81; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 6.299, 157.67 def. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 9.088, 104.59; Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 7.087, 152.18 def. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 8.936, 103.28; Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.822, 250.37 def. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.854, 249.72; Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.852, 250.60 def. Carl Stevens, Camaro, 9.073, 111.08;
QUARTERFINALS -- Jackson, 5.881, 233.76 def. Matusek, 5.886, 249.86; Coughlin, 5.833, 256.55 def. alBalooshi, Foul - Outer Boundary; Smith, 5.881, 248.89 def. Molinari, 7.207, 148.85; S. Whiteley, 5.914, 247.84 def. Frigo, 7.443, 136.32;
SEMIFINALS -- Smith, 5.877, 248.34 def. S. Whiteley, 9.820, 103.13; Coughlin, 5.848, 255.73 def. Jackson, 6.111, 236.17;
FINAL -- Smith, 5.884, 247.93 def. Coughlin, 5.882, 255.29.
Anytime is a good time for a sponsor. At least it's the way Rickie Smith sees it.
The multi-time champion and doorslammer drag racing icon was prepared to enter the 2018 tNHRA Pro Modified tour unsponsored when the day before the season-opener he received an unexpected call from Sheikh Abdullah of Bahrain informing him he didn't have to worry about a sponsor.
"That was kind of unexpected," Smith admitted. "I really wasn’t expecting him to step up and take me on board. I just can’t say enough for him to help pull me through this year again, and enable me to stay out here and keep racing."
Smith joins Khalid al-Balooshi and Stevie "Fast" Jackson as members of the Bahrain 1 team.
Smith was prepared to race on an tight budget this season and was willing to do what most any racer would do to work with a shoestring budget.
"I wasn’t going to sit out any races, but I was probably going to have to go borrow some money," Smith explained. "The way I figured everything up, I was going to have to borrow a little bit to finish the year. I was hoping maybe someone would come along through the middle of the year. But to jump in the first race here gives me a little better stress relief here. It sure does help out."
Smith smiles and quickly accepts the notion he's a racer albeit with the DNA makeup of a cat with nine lives.
"It’s all about being competitive and treating your sponsors right," Smith explained. "I’ve never lost a sponsor because I did something wrong. It’s just about every time I’ve lost one, they went a different direction, or they pulled plumb out of drag racing.
"Same thing with IDG and Vallen, they just pulled right out of racing when they sold out two years ago. The company that bought them out decided to step away for a while. It ain’t like they dumped me and got another one, so that makes you feel a little better."