Matt Smith came into the weekend at Pomona without much to prove. He leaves the weekend with even less to worry about as he is one step closer to scoring a fifth NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship. Of course that is after smoothing things out at home after a victory against wife Angie earlier in the day........
Running uncontested in round one, Matt didn't push it with a 6.901 ET at 173.81 MPH. This was the 2nd bye run over the last 3 races after having only 3 in his career coming into 2021.
Round two had some extra challenges as Matt faced his teammate and wife, Angie. While the air temp was close to 90 degrees, the track was a scorching 141 degrees. While Angie had the better reaction Time, Matt quickly outpaced his better half and moved into the semi's running 6.838 at 199.82 MPH.
In the third round, another teammate in Scotty Pollacheck was the competitor in the other lane. While the air temperature remained the same as the 2nd round, the track continued to cook. Pollachek was able to beat Smith at the launch but by 60 feet was running behind. Matt Smith was moving into the final again after running 6.919 ET at 197.31 MPH.
For the Pro Stock Motorcycle final of the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Presented By ProtectTheHarvest.com it was a battle between Smith and Angelle Sampey. The Mission Foods / Vance & Hines rocket had already defeated James Underdahl who no showed in the first round, Joey Gladstone in the second and her teammate Eddie Krawiec in the semi's.
The final wasn't close as Sampey was slow at the start and soon had smoke flowing from the engine. Smith posted his best ET of the day at 6.828 and 199.52 MPH. This is Smith's forth win of the year and his thirtieth of his career. Matt is also the first Pro Stock Motorcycle winner in Winternationals history.
"It was so hot today, and that was the biggest thing, just fighting the track," said Smith. "Being the crew chief is hard enough but being a driver and crew chief and the owner it, makes it really hard but we got it done.
"Being the first to win the Winternationals is awesome. Our team is always excited to win when we go somewhere new and every time we seem to get a new venue our team excels and does good and we've won here before but never for the Winternationals title and it's interesting because I thought the Winternationals was much cooler than this."
With a Wally in hand, I don't think the "Winter" heat was bothering Smith too much!
Phil Burgess has the story at NHRA.com, check it out here: