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.
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.
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
RICKIE SMITH TO DEBUT NEW CAR AND NEW PAINT SCHEME AS HE RUNS FOR THE 2017 NHRA PRO MOD CHAMPIONSHIP
Article and pictures courtesy of dragracecentral.com
SMITH WINS NHRA PRO MOD EVENT AT THE SUMMERNATIONALS IN ENGLISHTOWN
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.
SMITH CLINCHES THIRD NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD CHAMPIONSHIP
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.
Article and photo courtesy of dragracecentral.com
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.